The Ministry of Ecology and Environment’s first press conference this year focused on water ecological protection, responding to these questions (Beijing News)

2022-04-30 0 By

According to Zhang Bo, chief engineer of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment and director of the Department of Water Ecology and Environment, 84.9 percent of China’s water bodies will have good water quality in 2021, according to a regular press conference held by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment on Jan 24.Black and smelly water bodies were basically eliminated in 295 cities at and above the prefectural level (excluding prefectures and leagues).What are the key tasks for water ecological and environmental protection this year and during the 14th Five-Year Plan period?In this regard, Zhang Bo answered the reporter’s questions.During the 14th Five-Year Plan period, the target for the proportion of good water bodies was set at 85 percent, up 1.6 percentage points from 83.4 percent in 2020.According to Zhang Bo, compared with international comparisons, China has achieved remarkable results in the treatment of physical and chemical indicators of water environment.”Using physical and chemical indicators for statistical comparison, we are now close to or at the level of moderately developed countries.But at the same time, we still have some obvious shortcomings compared with moderately developed countries.”For example, ecological water supply in some places is obviously inadequate, and it is common for rivers and lakes to dry up, he said.For example, there are still bottlenecks in tackling non-point source pollution in urban and rural areas.In addition, cyanobacteria blooms in key lakes remain high, and the serious imbalance of water ecosystem is still very prominent.During the 14th Five-year Plan period, China should not pursue the excellent water body proportion mainly based on the evaluation of water environment physical and chemical indexes.”The increase of 1.6 percentage points in five years is quite ‘stable’ compared to the improvement in the 13th Five-Year Plan period.”‘This actually sends a clear signal that local governments are not encouraged to seek too high a proportion of excellent water bodies,’ he said, urging them to focus on strengthening the foundation and shoring up weak links in their work.At the same time, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment will effectively guide local governments to focus on “human efforts” to promote environmental quality improvement, and timely revise relevant assessment standards.In 2021, the proportion of sections with excellent water quality under state control in the Yangtze River Basin was 97.1%, an increase of 1.2 percentage points compared with the same period last year. In 2020, the annual mean value of water quality along the main stream of the Yangtze River reached Class II for the first time, maintaining the status for two consecutive years.In 2022, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment proposed to focus on the introduction of assessment methods and implementation rules for water ecology in the Yangtze River Basin, and carry out pilot assessment.Zhang said that the 2022 Work Conference on Ecological and Environmental Protection proposed exploring the establishment of water ecological protection mechanisms in the Yangtze River basin.During the 14th Five-Year Plan period, the pilot project of water ecology in the Yangtze River basin is conducive to promoting the protection and restoration of water ecology in the whole country through key breakthroughs in the Yangtze River basin.He said an index system should be established with “water ecosystem health” as the core and “water habitat protection”, “water environment protection” and “water resource security” as the support.Through assessment, establish the new pattern of system management.The problems of water ecology in the Yangtze River Basin are complicated.To solve problems, we should be problem-oriented and focus on key points, Zhang said.”For example, the destruction of the natural coastline of the Yangtze River is a serious problem. We need to guide local governments in protecting and restoring the coastline in light of local conditions.We will also take into account the source of the Yangtze river as well as the characteristics of the upper, middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, and set up assessment methods that are in line with local conditions.”Last year, the water quality of the main stream of the Yellow River reached Class III, with more than 90 percent of sections reaching class II or above.”Only a few sections have class III water quality, mainly concentrated in the middle reaches.”According to the 2022 National Conference on Ecological and Environmental Protection, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment will continue to promote the “clean up of waste” in the Yellow River basin and the investigation and rectification of sewage outlets into the river this year.Zhang said that the Yellow River basin is the same as other basins in China in terms of the basic law of basin management, but the Yellow River basin has its own characteristics.”First of all, water shortage is a prominent feature of the Yellow River basin.””We need to reverse the practice of developing a large number of water-intensive industries in areas with severe water shortage,” he said. “In recent years, some areas with severe water shortage have developed a lot of water-intensive projects, which occupy domestic and ecological water, and we need to speed up efforts to solve this problem.”In terms of water environment control, the upper reaches of the Yellow River basin are not very polluted due to the lack of human activities. The most serious pollution is in the middle reaches of the Yellow River Basin. In the lower reaches, attention should be paid to the ecological protection of the estuary wetland and other issues.”So the pollution characteristics of the Yellow River are concentrated in the middle reaches.”According to Zhang, the pollution control of industrial parks should cover outstanding debts, and industrial enterprises should enter the parks. The parks should build centralized sewage treatment facilities to ensure stable discharge of pollutants up to standard, and related facilities should be connected with ecological environment departments.We will accelerate efforts to improve environmental infrastructure in the Yellow River basin, especially in the middle reaches.According to Zhang Bo, the water ecological and environmental protection plan for key river basins in the 14th Five-Year Plan period has been completed, and work such as countersigning and submitting for approval is being carried out in accordance with procedures.He revealed that since the launch of the planning in 2019, it has focused on prominent issues of public concern and urged local governments to make key points of municipal water ecological environmental protection planning.Thirty-two working groups were organized to supervise and assist each city, and 359 planning points for prefecture-level administrative regions were formulated in accordance with local conditions.Index design, in addition to conventional index for professional stronger, also designed the convenient masses understand, judgment, supervision of populist measures, such as ordinary black smelly water around how to solve the “difference”, “difference” how to achieve a certain river river water, native fish and plants “difference” how to restore, etc.Source: Beijing News reporter: Zhang Lu