Yangtze River Water Resources Commission China visits Queensland
On a quest to learn more about Queensland’s achievements in water and river basin management, a delegation of six senior staff from CWRC, led by the Vice Commissioner Mr Xiong Tie, visited the Queensland Government and Griffith University recently.
Mr Dan Hunt, Director General of the Department of Natural Resources and Mines, hosted a round table discussion involving the Changjiang delegation and 14 representatives from other Queensland departments and authorities, Griffith University, and International WaterCentre. The visit from CWRC follows discussions held in China at the 2nd Australian-Sino high level water policy meeting held in Beijing in February this year.
Mr Xiong Tie provided a brief introduction on the Yangtze River and the responsibilities of CWRC, which operates the Yangtze River Basin. The CWRC was established in February 1950, and is based in Wuhan, with staff numbering over 20,000.
The primary responsibilities within CWRC are:
1) Water administration enforcement
2) Integrated water resources management
3) Water resources conservation, allocation and protection
4) River basin planning
5) Flood control and drought relief
6) River course management
7) Construction and management of controlling water works and sand mining
8) Soil and water conservation
9) Hydrology and scientific research.
As the longest River in China, Yangtze River is over 6,300 kilometres long with an annual mean flow of about 10,000 cubic metres. The river runs through 11 provinces, with a total catchment area of 1.8 square kilometres. It accounts for one-fifth of China’s total land area. The population living in this areas accounts for one-third of China’s total population, and produces one-third of China's total grain production and GDP.
Over the past 60 years, CWRC has been working with local communities and people living in the river basin, to transform the Yangtze River from a river with frequent flood disaster, into a river that provides tremendous benefits to its people. CWRC has completed a series of master river plans which gradually establish systems for:
1) Flood and extreme event mitigation
2) Comprehensive water resources management
3) Water resources and ecological environment protection, and
4) Integrated river basin management
Moving into a new era, CWRC put forward new plans for responding to challenges to ensure management objectives are achieved – keeping a healthy Yangtze River and promoting harmony between humans and water. Four strategic objectives are being developed:
1) To mitigate flood events
2) To limit the total use of water resources
3) To secure good ecological conditions for rivers
4) To stabilise the water course and hydrology of the river banks.
Mr Xiong appreciated the rich experience in river basin management the delegates gained from the Queensland and Australian Governments, and wished to encourage more technical exchanges with the Queensland Government and the Australian River Institutes. Mr Xiong extends an invitation to the fifth Yangtze Forum in September/October next year in Jiangxi Province, China.