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Conservation and Utilization of Soil and Water Resources in Western China

2000-11-02author:Jiyao Zhangsource:

  The western region is located in the middle and upper reaches of several rivers including Yangtze, Yellow River, and Zhujiang River. In this area, there is wide ter ritory and abundant natural resources. The western development is considered as a priority for the society and economy development in the twenty-first century of China. As a part of the hinterland in Asian and European Continent, its erosion p roblems are so severe and the

  ecological environment is so fragile. There exists seriou s shortage of soil in the southwest and a big lack for water resource in the nor thwest. For the past decades, soil and water conservation has played a very import ant role for improving people's living standards and production conditions, for a ccelerating the local economy and society development, and for protecting ecologi cal environment. However, environmental deterioration has not been stopped yet and still acts as a fundamental fact holding down the sustainable development for s ociety and economy and poverty reduction in the region. Accordingly, to achieve th e sustainable development in this area needs to strengthen the soil and water co nservation and ecological environment construction and to exploit scientifically and utilize effectively water and soil resources. The strategy of Western Develo pment conducted by Chinese government considers soil and water conservation and ecological environment construction as the master task, which is a great movement implemented in accordance with the natural, geographical, and climate conditions of the western area of China. 

  Ⅰ. Water and Soil Resources Characteristics and Soil E rosion Damages in the Western Region

  Soil erosion is a very severe problem in this region. In the west, there are 12 pr ovinces with the most serious erosion of China, some of which have the most sever e erosion issues even in the world. Various erosion types in the area include wat er, wind, gravitational, and freeze-thaw erosion. With the huge erosion amount and s evere damage, soil erosion became the main cause resulting to a fragile and deter iorating ecological environment. According to the initial statistic, the potential eroded area, which can be harnessed in the future, is about 1. 16 million km2,i ncluding 310 000km2 in the middle and upper reach of the Yellow River and 370 000 km2 in the middle and upper reach of the Yangtze River. 

  Firstly, the shortage of water resource made the ecological environment so fragil e in this region. Especially in the northwestern part. the water reserve is only on e eighth and the land area is one third of the whole country's , The average farm l and as well as forestland area is also much lower than the rate in the country. M o reover, about 52. 75 percent area of unimproved lands is scattering in the northwe st, which includes deserts, Gobi, salty lands, and rocky areas. Because of the fragi le situation, it's very hard to recover this environment in case it is ever destr oyed. 

  Secondly, the land resource has been hurt badly due to the soil erosion. In partic ular, the arable lands area are decreasing and gradually becoming rocky surface i n most of places in southwest of China. In these limestone areas, there are high m ountains with sharp slope, thin soils, large precipitation, lower occupation of far mland per capita, and over farming. Reducing farmland has endangered residents'liv ing. 

  Thirdly, the soil erosion is the main reason caused poverty and underdevelopment in this area. At the present, there are 307, or 52 percent of 592 of the whole coun try, poverty counties supported by the central government. The rural poverty popu lation has reached 230 million, one third of that of the whole country. Where ther e is severe erosion problem where there is poverty. Soil erosion caused environme nt degradation and land productivity decreasing. In most of places, more poor the situation is , more soil erosion caused environment degradation and land producti v ity decreasing. In most of places, more poor the situation is , more serious the ov er farming is . Therefore, the agricultural conditions become badly poor and soil erosion turns into the main limiting factor obstructing the poverty reduction a nd locally economic development. 

  Fourthly, the erosion in the western is the major resource contributing of the bl own sand. In China, deserts, Gobi, and sandy, rocky, and salty grasslands are spreadin g in the west with large area. Recently, the dust and sandstorm became more and mo re frequent due to the climate change and the vegetation destroy and the increas ing area of desertification land, which threaten seriously the environment of No rth China and around the Beijing and Tianjin City particularly. For instance, it h ad happened twelve dust and sandstorm this year. 

  Fifthly, the soil erosion in the west area is the main sediment resource for some big rivers, such as Yangtze and Yellow River. In Loess Plateau, the annually sedim ent yield is 1. 4 billion tons, 87. 5 percent of the annual yield in Yellow River B asin, and reaches 30 thousand tons per square kilometers and per year for certain areas. The amount of the sediment transported from loess Plateau to the lower re ach of Sanmenxia Gorge is about 1. 6 billion tons, among of which there are 400 mi llion tons deposited in the riverbed. It makes rivers aggraded with 10cm every ye a r and suspended above the ground. The erosion amount in the upper reach of Yangtz e is about 1. 56 billion tons. However, because the particle size of detached soils is bigger and the transporting ratio is one third, only one third of the sedimen t is transported into the main channel while two third appeared as grit and grav el stays in reservoirs, branches, and small rivers in the upper reach. The sediment amount is generally 500 million tons in Yichang station. 

  Finally, gravitational erosion like debris flow and slide becomes more serious. Du e to the geologic structure, vegetation damage, and unreasonable human activities, the gravitational erosion tends to be more active. In southern Sichuan of the upp er reach of Yangtze and parts of area in the lower reach of Jinshajiang, there ex ists adequately and intensively gravitational erosion and debris flow, which brou ght serious damages. According to the investigation in 1990, there were 1, 500 plac e s existing slope slide severely and 3, 000 gullies having debris flow, from which 120 million tons sediment were detached. 

  The main reasons causing the soil erosion involve the geographically fragility o f ecological environment and rude attitudes in the production, which detailedly r efer to (1) weak consciousness of environment protection in the public;(2)increa sing population and over farming;(3)forests destroying;(4)unreasonable utilizati on and development of soil and water resources;and (5)inefficient process in the erosion control. Considering resources in this area, water resource is lack in th e north but soil is lack in the south. Considering the results, there exists big s ediment yield in Yellow River Basin and serious damage of land resources in Yang tze River. 

  In this large area, there are various natural and economic conditions as well as erosion causes. The first point is slope tillage. For instance, the slope tillage a rea in upper and middle reach of Yangtze is about 150 million mu including 36. 5 million mu with gradient over 25 degree, from which about 800 million tons of sed iment, one third of the whole basin's , is detached . The second is gully. For examp le, the area of gullies shares 40 or 50 percent of the whole lands area and sedim ent yield does 50 or 60 percent in the hilly area of Loess Plateau. The third is the gravitational erosion covering debris flow and slope sliding. The fourth is u ncovered hills and slopes and poor forestland. The fifth is the erosion in the co nstruction projects. 

  Generally, soil erosion expresses as a main character of worsen environment. Where there is serious erosion problems, where there is deteriorating ecological envir onment. Eventually, the key tasks will be fixing on the soil and water conservatio n for improving the ecological environment of the west and protecting and using soil and water resources in a reasonable method.   

  Ⅱ. Best Practices Accomplishments in Erosion Control

  1. Best practices of soil and water conservation For the past 50 years, the Government and people of PRC have been battling to imp lement soil and water conservation. In particular, this task has been developing t o a big extent during 90's . In 1991, the Water and Soil Law was passed and promul gated. In 1993, soil and water conservation was positioned as a basic national pol icy that should be insisted in a long term. In the same year, Program Items of Nat ional Soil and Water Conservation was authorized to put in practice. In 1994, the Twenty-first Century Agenda of China has been formulated, in which controlling er osion and desertification was taken as an important topic in the implementation of sustainable development and was planned in advance. In 1998, the Government si gned the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, approved National P lanning Program for Ecological Environment Construction, and set up a great goal to make the country as a beautiful place by the middle of this century. In recent years, many useful exploration and reformation have been conducted based on the past practices of soil and water conservation. A native way has been built to con serve the soil and water. Particularly, many best experiences were collected durin g long period practices in the middle reach of Yellow Rive and in the upper reac h of Yangtze. 

  The first practice is to accentuate the prevention policy, strengthen the supervi sion and laws execution, and control soil erosion by mankind. In soil and water co nservation, it was reality that controlling work was paid much attention but cons erving was treated lightly. So controlling and destroying are always processing c ontemporarily in some places. Even destroying was ahead of controlling in a few p laces. It caused that the accomplishments always could not be prevented very well. So, the prevention, supervision, and conservation become so important in the pro cess. Furthermore, the regulations of soil and water conservation reporting in the construction projects would be an efficient method control the unreasonable act ivities in the resources exploitation and to keep vegetation in a healthy situa tion. 

  The second is the comprehensive management in small watersheds. In the practice s o many years, it has been well summarized as an effective way to distribute struc ture, vegetation, and agriculture measures with the unit of a small watershed and to manage the watershed comprehensively. It is proved practically that the compre hensive management of small watersheds not only solved the food problem of farme rs and created conditions for poverty reduction but also controlled soil erosion . Thereby, the water and soil resources are prevented and used reasonably and the harmony between economic, ecological, and society benefits are realized. 

  The third is the reformation enhancement and public participation in erosion con trol. Since the Opening and Reformation of China, especially in the Eighth Five-ye ar period, soil and water conservation has been developing to a high extent. Based on the institutional action contracting small watersheds out for the management in a family unit, more alternations have been conducted, which involve renting, jo int-stocking, and public sale of impoverishing slopes, hills, gullies, and watersheds (or called Four Barren Lands). In the institutional implementation, policies, including steady ownership and policy, practical repayment, and transferable or inher itable regulations, make obviously soil and water conservation more active and li vely. With the harmony achievement among responsibilities, rights, and benefits and the integration of prevention, management, and development, public participation wa s accelerated greatly to soil and water conservation. Finally, a new pattern occur red that nationality, collectivity, and individual potencies were gathered compreh ensively in this project and various conservation methods progressed all togethe r. 

  The fourth is the connection between ecological and economic benefits, comprehens ive management and development, and erosion control and poverty reduction. In the process of small watersheds management, not only were natural resources preventio n and breeding treated, but also rational utilization and exploitation were paid more attention. Resource advantages in the watershed are transferred into economy ones through planting profitable and fruits trees, vegetables, and grass for farm ing and through developing forestry and pasturage economy. Eventually, soil erosio n is controlled when the environment is improved and the economy is developed mea nwhile the people is becoming rich. Therefore, the soil and water conservation is accelerated by inspiring farmers' positivity in erosion control projects. 

  The fifth is scientific depending of standards and benefits improvement of water sheds management. In the process, the scientific technology has been considered as a prior issue. In addition, some practical technology was popularized and scientif ic accomplishments were transformed into practical productivity. Meanwhile, public education was also conducted by holding local training workshops. So the qualifi cation and benefits were increasing with the science consciousness improvement. I n the southwest, the irrigation works were selected and extended. In the northwest , principle works involved ecological agriculture in dam systems, hydraulic constr uction of dams, water-saving and catchment irrigation, and arsenic sandstone trans f ormation using seabuckthorn. In sandy area, fencing breed and air seeding using wa ter-absorbent were chosen to improve management qualification and reduce the cos ts. 

  2. Main accomplishments of soil and water conservation in the west

  In the west especially in the middle reach of Yellow River and the upper reach o f Yangtze, soil and water conservation has processed for a long time and gotten s uccessful achievements in a large scale. According to updated results of remote s ensing investigation, the water erosion area decreased national wide and erosion density became much weaken. For instance, in the middle region of Yellow River, the 171 300 km2 has been treated initially by the end of 1998, including 1, 077 maj or structure in gullies, 100 000 soil-saving dams, 3 million small construction fo r soil protection and water storage, 89 million mu basic agricultural lands, and 1 68 million mu forests and grass. Because of the current projects, the annual food supplies are increasing averagely by 4 billion kg and about 10 million people ha s realized basic goals of warm and food. It stopped continuous loss of soil and w ater and desertification to some extent. Since 70s, the sediment transportation to the Yellow River has been reduced by about 300 million tons annually. 

  The principle engineering of soil and water conservation has been started for th e upper reach from 1989. For 10 years, the eroded area of 58 000 km2 has been co ntrolled, which involved slope lands of 453 000 hectares transformed into terrace s, forests for soil and water conservation of 1. 56 million hectares, economic fore sts of 613 000 hectares, grasslands of 266 000 hectares, harnessed area of 1. 66 mi llion hectares in banned and closed ways, and popularized area of 1. 21 million he ctares for soil-conserved tillage methods. The projects completed totally 1. 4 bil lion m3 capacity of mud and stone structure and spent 1. 4 billion man-days. In controlled area, 80 percent of slope lands with the gradient over 25 degree had been removed from agricultural production and returned into forests and grass la nd use. The area of slope lands had been reduced by 37 percent and that of undeve loped hills and slopes had been done by 80 percent. The coverage rated by 18. 3 pe rcent from 22. 8 to 41. 1 percent. The erosion amount reduced by 180 million tons and utilization percentage raised by 15. The production benefits increased 900RM B per hectare and 1. 6 billion RMB totally. 

  By building a comprehensive preventing system for soil and water conservation wh ere structures, vegetation, and agriculture tillage are connected with each other, the conservation in a unit of small watershed made the surface coverage increase d, sediment reduced into rivers, environmental population capacity improved, and th e harmony achieved among people, resources, and environment. 

  Ⅲ. Plans and Methods for Soil and Water Conservation a nd Ecological Environment Construction in the Western Area

  The Government of China approved the strategy for the West Development and took ecological environment as a key fundamental point. It brings a new historical opp ortunity for soil and water conservation. Firstly, the Government pays much attent ion on the this issue. Secondly, the viewpoint that soil erosion is the first envi ronmental problem of china has become popular in the public and that pressing ne eds to improve the environment are recognized generally. Thirdly, the substantial base became more tighten with the increasing of comprehensive national power. Fin ally, a special way suiting for China's situation has been build up. These achieve ments create well conditions for erosion control and environment improvement in the western region. 

  According to objective needs of national economy and society development to soil and water conservation, the project phases can be expressed as (i) taking the pr evention and improvement as the central task;(ii)considering erosion control as a priority issue;(iii)treating the construction for a world with green mountains and clear rivers as the object;(iv)strengthening prevention and conservation;(v ) insisting the management attitudes in a small watershed unit;(vi) depending on s cientific technology;(vii)deepening the reformation;(viii) setting up new instit ution continuously;(ix)accelerating the process of soil and water conservation;a nd (x)rehabilitating a healthy ecological environment for the west exploitation as well as the national sustainable development of society and economy. 

  Complying with the arrangements of the development and the National Program Plan for Ecological Environment Rehabilitation, the main objects during the recent 10 years involve(i) having 350 000 km2 eroded area treated in comprehensive meth ods;(ii)bring initial effects on ecological environment in the main controlled a rea;(iii)building and improving systems for soil and water conservation preventi on and monitoring;(iv)getting effectively rid of new erosion by human activities ;(v)setting dynamic monitoring networks for conservation projects;and(vi)releas ing the soil erosion data periodically. 

  In order to realize the goals of soil and water conservation and ecological envi ronment rehabilitation, it is necessary to study some successful practices in the past years and to adjust relevant strategies and plans in accordance with the c urrent situation in the development of national economy and society. What should be taken serious consideration are:

  (i) Insisting the principle position of prevention, taking execution lawful ly, and enhancing the supervision and management of soil and water conservation. T here will be a piles of projects started in the west including railway building, highway constructing, and energy developing. The environment is so fragile that is would be pressed with new damage in case that the vegetation, water and soil res ources are taken few consideration for preserving, which would lead adverse impac ts on the economic development, so the phases should be stressed specially in th e soil and water conservation to prevent new erosion from happening including la ws and regulations execution and reporting institution of erosion control files in the construction projects. 

  (ii) Implementing firstly and efficiently the governmental policies of rem o ving areas from agricultural production for reforestation and grassland, refores ta tion in closed region, exchange donation with food supplies, and family contractin g and to conduct completely comprehensive management in a small watershed unit b y prompting agriculture removing through (a) slopes transformation and terraces construction;(b) adjustments of industrial components;(c)migration from fragile area;and (d) carrying Water and Soil Laws.

  (iii) In accordance of different situation, taking prevention strategies an d laying stress on regional priority and major construction projects. According t o the Law, the western region was separated into major preventing area, controllin g area, and monitoring area. Different areas were treated with different scenarios . The major preventing area mainly refers to the place where there are good natur al vegetation, weak soil erosion, and coverage ratio over 40 percent. The major mo nitoring area refers particularly to the region where there are abundant mineral resources, distributed constructions, and sensitive eroding reaction for the con struction. The major controlling area refers to districts, which have lower covera ge ratio, bad natural conditions, fragile environment, and severe erosion problems forcing heavy damage for the industry in the lower reach. The last kind of area includes Loess Plateau area in the upper and middle reach of Yellow River, Jishaj i ng River lower basin, Jialingjiang River basin, the Three Gorges Area, and Wu River of the middle and upper reach, Yangtze and the region covering South-North Panjia ng River and Left-Right River of Chishui River and Zhujing River basins. It also c overs the river belts of Talimu River, Chaidamu River, Shule River, and Black River in the sandy grassland area. 

  In the western development projects, seven principle projects have been confirmed initially, which include:

  (1) The sand blocking and gully harnessing projects in areas with abundant and large particles sands. The area is mainly located between Hekou and Longmen of the Yellow River in the connecting area of Shanxi, Shanxi, and Inner Mongolia A utonomous Region, where there is the most serious soil erosion of the Yellow Rive r Basin and abundant sediment with large particle size and particularly, big spec ific gravity of inletting sediment. The structural projects will be the main phas es in gullies harnessing, which include systemic networks of dams, soil-saving dam s, principle dams, and small reservoirs. Meanwhile, the vegetation building should b e emphasized on the slopes for sediment reduction and environment improvement.  

  (2) Seabuckthron ecological engineering in arsenic sandy-stone area. To imp l ement engineering especially vegetation building is very difficult in this kind a rea. In the practice, seabuchthron was found to be suitable for the local conditio ns. Moreover, it can not only provide local residents with fuels, forages and ferti lizers but also industrialize the specie and enrich the people. So the seabuckthr on forests should be expanded in a large scale for protection, farming, and econom y. Through the forest building improve the environment in the region.  

  (3) Comprehensive desertification combating engineering in interacting are as between farming and pasture. Generally, the area belongs to the interacting reg ion between wind and water erosion, in which the population density is comparativ ely high, like belts along the Great Wall. The treatment considers the water, lands , forests, grasslands, and roads comprehensively. Some desertification measures are adapted in accordance with the local condition such as vegetation measures fixin g sands, sand blocks, irrigation, and protective forests surrounding tillage lands to fertilize sandy lands, to rehabilitate bottomland in deserts, to remove areas f rom agricultural production for forestation and grass planting, to reducing the s ands hazards. 

  (4) Slopes rehabilitation works in the upper reach of Yangtze. It involves the area in the lower reach of Jialing River including Sichuan and Chongqing, of which hills are the main landform. In this area, there are big population, small fa rmland occupation per capita, thin soil, and serious erosion on slopes with freque nt runoff. Major engineering processed in the area include the basic farmland bui lding integrated with water engineering comprising storage works, irrigation, chan nels, and drainage. Through these projects, the water is stored and the soil is sta bilized. 

  (5) Soil resource preserving works in limestone areas mainly covering Guiz hou and Guangxi. In this area, the soil resource is very rare but the population i s big, and parts of land become rocky seriously in certain areas. Considering the reality, transforming slopes into terraces may increase the soil depth and preser ve the soil resource meanwhile, and accelerate the process of vegetation recoveri ng and agriculture removing. 

  (6) Rehabilitating projects of ecological oasis in inland river basins. Sin kiang and Inner Mongolia are involved in this phase. With a very big distribution of sandy lands, most surfaces are covered by deserts and Gobi. There have been la rge pieces of oasis in lower reaches of Talimu River and Black River, however, oas is area was decreasing with the sandy area increasing and river drying out due t o the unreasonable utilization of water resource and forests destroying. Through the integrated management of water resource and necessary constructions, the wat er-saving in the upper reach can be enhanced and ecological water use may be ens ured by rational water distribution. Moreover, it is needed to put strictly relev ant l aws into effect for ecological oasis preserve and rehabilitation. Some activities that may cause potentially vegetation destroying, such as digging Glycyr r hiza uralensis and Nostoc flagelliforme, should be prohibited . Furthermore, it will be needed to build forests for wind shelterbelt and desertification contro l. 

  (7) Vegetation construction for water saving in sandy, rocky, and salty area s covering Inner Mongolia, Sinkiang, Tsinghai, Sichuan, and Tibet. Currently, part of grasslands is turning into a serious condition of degradation. Main measures to c ontrol this trend include developing water resource, promoting family Kulun for water saving, fencing and closing feed, and introducing advanced pasture technique s, and recovering and improving rangelands. 

  (iv) Optimizing and adjusting continuously comprehensive measures. For the controlling modes and measures, comprehensively controlling systems should be kep t on going including structural, vegetal, and soil-fertilizing measures according to sites condition. Meanwhile, the treatment should be conducted taking large

  watersheds as principle phases and small watersheds as basic units and planning hill s, water areas, land, and roads integratedly. Concretely, several phases that should be mentioned, which cover that:

  (a) Basic agricultural lands should be built with high quality instead of with huge distribution simply. The slopes transformation should be taken on the c lose spot and concentrate efforts on quality, integrated hydraulic works, agricult ural science and technology, and yield stabilization and boosting. Moreover, high q uality and benefits but not huge quantity should be pursued. The traditional till age methods depending closely on natural conditions and lower production in larg er areas should be turned into intensive cultivation and massive management. For the area with serious erosion problems, the agricultural structure should take as economic and ecological benefits as the main point but not foods supply any lon ger. 

  (b) Various engineering for the purpose of water and soil conservation sh ould be enhanced continuously. Water resources utilization should be implemented rationally in order to improve the plants surviving and preserving ratio and inc reasing the economic benefits of the vegetation, through water saving, structural measures building like vaults and pools, and in particular , problems solving of n ursery water shortage in draught seasons and water using in economic forests dev elopment. 

  (c) The vegetation rate should be aggravated in three comprehensive measu res. Plants and grass can be planted possibly in suitable places. The biological b orders of terraces should be pursued. Through the exerting predominance of protec tive forests, rainfall should be used effectively. In acid areas of the northwest, it is needed to choose suitable vegetation species and integrate shrubs and gras s with trees.   

  (v) Testing and popularizing new institutions in an active way. Innovation of mechanisms is an important promotion. Heavy reliance on the Government is inef ficient in the soil and water conservation. Therefore, it necessary to seek, test, a nd prompt some good institutional measures that are beneficial to preserve ecolo gical environment and enrich the local farmers and that are appropriate for the China's marketing economic systems for mobilizing the enthusiasm, activity, and cr eativity of the people. The harmony of economy, society, and ecology benefits can b e achieved in the new mechanisms. As for the relationship between conservation an d development, integrations should be implemented continuously covering preservat ion and exploitation as well as erosion control, poverty reduction, and local econ omy development. The institutional inputs should be completed in various levels, c hannels, and methods. Institutional reformation should be conducted more deeply fo r inspiring people's activity harnessing environments. 

  (vi) Depending on scientific technology to improve the benefits of the soi l and water conservation. The technology application and popularization may accel erate the controlling steps, improve the benefits, and realize modern management. T hese scientific technologies cover slope transformation to terraces, irrigation for water saving, reforestation using runoff, biological field border, debris flow and slope sliding predication, and RS, GIS, and GPS or 3S. 

  Ⅳ. Economization and Conservation Enhancement of Water Resource in the West

  The water is the fundamental basis and crucial factor for the development of the western area where there is general shortage and imbalance of both rainfall and water resource. Although obvious achievements have been reached in water conserv ancy construction, inharmonious distribution of water resource and productivity s till holds the economic sustainable development and ecological environment rehab ilitation back. Eventually, the water becomes the premier issue need to be dealt w ith in the western development. The major problems of water resource prevention a n d utilization include(i) absence of integrated plan;(ii)fewer modulating, storing and supplying engineering works;and (iii) low-level management. In this strategy , the elemental construction like water conservancy works is considered as the bas ic phase and ecology rehabilitation is taken as the fundamental task in the deve lopment. Considering the existing problems, the administrative ministry has positi oned rational utilization and effective prevention of water resource as the cent ral issue and taken corresponding measures. 

  1. Making a comprehensive plan for the water utilization and dev elopment in the west

  In order to improve the using efficiency of water resource, it is needed to make a comprehensive plan for the water utilization and prevention based on the suff i cient study. In particular for the western area, regional and watersheds programmi ng are conducted on the basis of integrative consideration of economic, society, a nd environmental benefits for water resources and complying the principle of mak i ng overall plans and taking all factors into consideration, controlling completel y, and managing comprehensively. 

  The basin programming should harmonize the connections both between the lower and upper reaches and between left and right banks studying the development and ch a nges. The regional programming should be serving for overall situation and benefi t s in accordance with the basins programming. Both basin and region programming need to make healthy relationships among the population, resources, environments and economy and to correctly treat the present with the future, promotion the benefi cial with abolishing the harmful, scheming with saving, and development with preve ntion. 

  2. Scheming rationally and preserving effectively water resources

  In the western area, the water resource is sensitive to the human activities due to the natural particularity and fragile environment. So the western development must take ecological environment rehabilitation as the basic phase, optimize rati onally and effectively the water resource scheme, and improve the using efficienc y of water resource through the integration between structural and non-structura l measures. Firstly, water resource planning for inter-provincial and inter-regional rivers should be progressed. For the rivers of which the ecological environmen t has already been destroyed severely, to control the water use is needed through harmonizing the water utilization for the upper and the lower reaches. Secondly, the rural industrial structure should be adjusted and the industrial distributio n should be optimized in term of effective utilization and reasonable needs. Thir dly, intersectional plans of water function are needed for the purpose. Moreover, it is necessary to put forward the pollutants outletting limits for rivers and to demarcate the area for both resources and supplying. The supervision and managem ent of pollution outlets should be stressed. In addition, safe using of water reso urce should be assured by setting economic compensating mechanisms for water re s ources preservation and ecological environment rehabilitation. Fourthly, channelin g water resources regionally should be taken according to the needs and possibil ities based on the water table digging for water saving, for instance to channel Er qisi River for supplying Urumqi and to develop Erie River. Meanwhile, channeling w ater from other watersheds should be studied positively for sustainable utilizat ion of water resources and for economy society and ecological environment develo ping. 

  3. Taking water saving as a revolutionary method and fulfilling it completely

  Water saving is an important task for the whole world. The propaganda and educat ion are necessary to prompt the public consciousness for saving water. Meanwhile, enhancing management and practical level improvement should be achieved by using methods involving administration, laws and institution, and economics. in the exec ution of water saving, the administrative management should be conducted firstly. Society Building Action for Saving Water may be pushed in the northwest through reformin g the relevant technology, setting up encouraging regulations, and building small hydraulic engineering using rainfall for irrigation. Currently, the priory phase is the water saving in the agriculture, particularly is to adapt advanced irrigati ng and saving techniques, to adjust industrial and variety structures of agriculture, to reinforce the transformation of equipments and management, and to improve the using efficiency of water resources. Secondly, it is necessary to use the price's leverage for paying systems of water use. Through increasing the price, water saving can be prompted and pollution can be controlled to some extend. Thirdly, th e ration and cumulating charge should be implemented in the water using. The new projects must use the advanced techniques for clean production and water saving. Fourthly, the sewage must be controlled through distributing water resource ration ally. Moreover, it is needed to eliminate some enterprises that have high pollutio n and water and energy use and to control products with lower additional-benefits . Fifthly, the regulations need to be built including the products guarantee and markets admittance. The products without marks of water saving must be strictly kept out from markets. 

  4. Strengthening the integrate management of water resources

  Due to its own fragility of the ecological environment, sightless exploitation of the water resource has lead great lessons. The management systems and policies, rules of law, and regulations should be built to fit for the local reality and the socialistic marketing economic system. With the lawful methods, the integrated ma nagement should be conducted for the water resource in the watershed. The first step processed is to setup administrative institution, to plan the water resource utilization in the upper and lower reaches as a whole, and to formulate and carryi ng out water supplying scheme and annual plans. The second is to implement vote f or the water use. The projects without arguments of water using cannot be authorized. The third is to prohibit blindly reclamation and disordering channel and to implement regulations of using water with admission. Projects causing heavy pollution and consuming superfluous water and energy must be closed or transferred. Its license for water using must be withdrawn. 

  5. Forcing input strongly

  In the northwestern area, the water resource is very limited and unbalanced compared with other resources. The sustainable increasing of the regional economy relies heavily on the rational development and optimized scheme and on the improvement of carrying capacity of water resource. There are various races in the area wh ere the people still leads a quiet poor living, shares low-level education, and has undeveloped productivity. The economic strength is weak comparatively for the region and the local government affords hardly so huge costs for hydraulic constructions. Therefore, the Government should change paying ways financially and devotes much more to basic hydraulic constructions. More investing ways can be actualized in more hierarchies and more sources with financing and investing policies. The water saving and preserving should be taken through the whole process of the local economic development. The basic constructing financing plan should contain th e costs of water saving engineering and sewage cleanup. The Government should take preferential policies for construction of water conservancy. The first is to loosen the authorization of projects' invest and management and to conduct t he development using BOT. The second is to encourage and broaden the investment f rom foreigners for water-supplying construction in urban areas through the constitution of preferential economy policies. The third is to steer enterprises and the public to set up water developing projects and to convey small works to the local people for management. The fourth is to arrange prophetically the establishm ents for ecological environment rehabilitation and poverty reduction, meanwhile to ensure proper investing level, and to spend three or five years to solve the water using problems for people and beast uses. 

  Through the measures mentioned above, the supports from water resources can be realized for national economy development and for ecological environment. Eventually, the sustainable development of national economy will be prompted with the development of water resources.

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