The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD) have jointly issued a circular, requiring local departments to take into account both the development of water supply and water treatment sectors and residents' spending power so as to properly handle the extent and time of water price adjustment, avoiding intensive launches of price adjustment projects.
Local departments are required to strictly conduct cost supervision and examination procedures as well as public hearings, to strengthen the verification of the cost and to improve the transparency of decision making for water pricing. Meanwhile, it is necessary to actively introduce ladder systems for domestic water prices to reduce the impact of water price adjustments on low-income households and to enhance residents' water conservation awareness.
Resource-based product prices and environmental protection-related charges will be the focus of this year's reforms. In the first half, relevant departments have been positively engaged in water price reforms.
According to the NDRC, although the reasons behind local regions' water price adjustments may vary, the measures are in line with the direction of the reform, helping advance resource conservation and environmental protection. Some regions adjusted water prices to address relatively low water sewage treatment charges while for other regions the aim of the move was to raise funds for hydraulic engineering projects such as the South-to-North Water Diversion Project.
By People's Daily Online