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China’s “10 measures” on Water

On April, 16, 2015, China announced action plan for water pollution prevention and control. It contains “10 measures for water” and follows the air pollution campaign that began in 2013. The 10 measures for water according to the Chinese State Council website include:

  1. Control and reduce discharge from industries, urban areas, agriculture, rural, shipping ports.
  2. Upgrading to recycle industrial water, reclaimed water, and seawater.
  3. Conservation and protection of water resources (by strict management system).
  4. Improving scientific and technical support; strengthening fundamental science.
  5. Increase market efficiency and price reform.
  6. Strict enforcement and severe punishment.
  7. Authorized discharge under strict management.
  8. Safety and strengthening protection of water bodies.
  9. More responsibility in local governments with central inspections.
  10. Improve public participation and community supervision (including public listing of performance).


The plan took 2 years and 30 revisions. It projects 70% of seven major rivers will be in good condition by 2020. Goal for 2030 is 75% of these rivers will be in better “clear” condition.

The challenge of implementation remains getting local governments to enforce the effort. The plan mandates publicly released information on water quality at testing sites for drinking water sources and other areas next year. All cities will be required to comply starting from 2018. The performance review of local officials will also be tied to the water protection records.


The Chinese State Council press release on this action plan is found here: China announces action plan to tackle water pollution

To read the original text of the plan, please click here: 水污染防治行动计划

To read more from 中外对话 (China Dialogue), please visit: China unveils landmark plan to curb water pollution


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