China invested a record 985.6 billion yuan (about $137.09 billion) in the construction of water conservancy facilities during the first eight months of this year, an official said on September 13.
A total of 23,600 water conservancy projects were launched during this period, also a historical high, said Minister of Water Resources Li Guoying at a press conference.
The construction of water conservancy projects created more than 1.97 million jobs from January to August, and provided "strong support for the recovery of the country's economy," Li said.
In addition to advancing the construction of water conservancy projects, China also intensified its efforts to protect and restore freshwater ecosystems.
Nearly 7 billion cubic meters of water were injected into 48 rivers and lakes in the Haihe River Basin in 2022 and most rivers in north China have had flowing and clean water, while more and more rivers have come back to life, Li said.
China has implemented "river chief" and "lake chief" systems, where local government heads are placed in charge of protecting the bodies of water within their jurisdictions. More than 1.2 million river chiefs and lake chiefs have been appointed to date.
Remote sensing satellites, drones and other technologies have also been widely used to strengthen daily inspection, management and protection work concerning rivers and lakes.
Through the implementation of a national water-saving campaign, China has made solid progress in increasing the efficiency of water use and enhancing people's awareness of the importance of saving water, Li said.
In 2022, China's water consumption per 10,000 yuan of GDP had been reduced by 33 percent from its 2015 level, and its water consumption per 10,000 yuan of industrial added value had fallen by 50 percent.