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UPDATED: July 11, 2011
China to Step up Water Facility Constructions

The Chinese Government has pledged to intensify construction of water facilities, an urgent effort to enhance grain safety and fight drought and floods.

China will prioritize water projects in its infrastructure construction and take irrigation and water conservancy as a major task in rural infrastructure improvement, President Hu Jintao stressed at a meeting on the matter held in Beijing on Friday and Saturday.

Hu said water has exerted more evident impact on China's economic security, ecological security and national security as the economic and social development and improved livelihoods are facing water strains.

Rain-triggered floods have battered central and southern regions of China, killing people, destroying homes and inundating farmland since June, right after some areas were hit by severe drought for months which caused drinking problems and damage to crops.

Hu said accelerating development facilities is an urgent need for the nation to guarantee grain safety, restructure its economy, build an energy-saving and environment-friendly society, promote social stability and combat natural disasters.

Hu said China will establish a water system that can shield the nation from the impact of floods and drought, utilize water efficiently and protect water resources by 2020.

Central and local governments will take a leading role in water projects, he said.

He called for greater efforts to strengthen irrigation and water conservancy projects in rural areas and improve facilities for mitigating floods.

Further, more efforts should be made to enhance water resources allocation to ensure water supplies for rural and urban households and promote water protection, treatment and management, he said.

Premier Wen Jiabao also reiterated the importance of water projects, saying the major task is to improve water facilities to combat floods and drought, step up reinforcement of small reservoirs, expand irrigation and ensure drinking water.

(Xinhua News Agency July 9, 2011)

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