Press conference on special actions to clean up rivers and lakes
By the end of June 2018, the objectives and tasks of fully establishment of river chief system was completed, six months ahead of the schedule. By the end of 2018, the lake chief system was also set up as scheduled. The following is the latest progress introduced by Mr. Wei Shanzhong, Vice Minister of Water Resources, in the press conference held on December 26, 2019.
According to the overall arrangement of the Ministry of Water Resources, the action was divided into three stages, including investigation, rectification, and consolidation. At the county level, after the “four-chaos” problems were identified, rectified plans and measures have been specified, with nomination of responsible organizations and persons, to conduct clean-up and rectification actions in accordance with the laws and regulations. The result and effectiveness of the special action have been reviewed, in line with the duties and responsibilities of river chiefs and lake chiefs, by means of formulating policies and standards, setting up a list of “four chaos” problems, recording of correction results, and focusing on tracking and supervision, unnoticed and sample investigations, as well as public supervision.
A total of 134,000 “four-chaos” problems was solved by the end of November 2019. Among rivers with a basin area of more than 1000 square kilometers, and lakes with a water area of more than 1 square kilometers, 56,000 “four-chaos” problems were identified, in which 55,800 recorded problems were corrected, with a rate of 99.7%. Except rivers and lakes mentioned above, the local governments identified 13,500 unlawful cases, among which 13,300 problems were solved, with a rate of 98.1%. In addition, the Ministry of Water Resources urged local governments to rectify more than 4,800 problems found in unnoticed investigations, or reported by media and the general public.
Based on the overall arrangements in three stages of investigation, rectification and consolidation, 39.36 million square meters of unlawful constructed area were demolished, 25,000 kilometers of occupied river and lake shorelines were cleaned up, more than 35 million tons of garbage were removed from watercourses, over 9,800 kilometers of illegal embankments were removed, nearly 9,100 illegal sand dredging ships were detained, about 10,000 illegal sand dredging sites with a total of over 21 million cubic meters of sand dredging were banned, and approximately 130,000 mu of aquaculture areas in purse seine were removed. The clean-up and rectification action resulted in significant improvement of river and lake environment, enhancement of flood detention capability, improvement of water quality, and effective control of damages to river and lake.
In the next stage, river and lake chief systems will be further pushed forward, realizing a complete transformation from "famous" to "practical".