Know Your Water Rights
by China Water Risk 17 November, 2014
Ensuring water security is paramount; an important part of this is down to allocation. Who gets water and how much? To get a grip on this, we sat down with Professor Jia Shaofeng, Deputy Director of the Centre for Water Resources Research at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He shares his views on water rights in China – who owns them? are they “traded” between provinces/ between industry & agriculture? what would a market trading system look like? We also have commentary from European & Chinese water policy experts Martin Griffiths & Cheng Dongsheng on the challenges ahead in reforming China’s water permitting system. If you don’t know anything about this, check out our overview on how to get water in China and risks associated given these impending reforms. It not just rights that are “traded” across provinces, but virtual water flows through the trading of goods. A study of virtual water flows embedded in products across 30 sectors and 30 provinces reveals that Beijing, Shanghai & Tianjin maybe contributing to China’s water depletion. Study authors Professor Klaus Hubacek & Dr. Kuishuang Feng explain how a provincial ecosystem quality tax could be the way forward. A good governance framework is also key, especially for sharing limited water resources within a region. Independent consultant Kris Hartley on a new proposed governance framework for water sharing between Guangdong & Hong Kong. With rights come laws. Professor Patricia Wouters, Founding Director of the China International Water Law Programme at Xiamen University shares her expert views on the region’s water treaties. Can water laws & rights help keep the peace on Asia’s transboundary waters? Given President Xi Jinping’s recent commitment to swap out of fossil fuels in favour of cleaner energy sources such as hydropower, water rights & laws are increasingly topical… so know your rights.
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