As China steps into the 21st Century, it faces the rapid reconstruction and modernization of its infrastructure and economy. The conflict between the rapid development and the availability of resources is presenting considerable challenges for sustainable water and environmental development. This undertaking is enormous, both materially and technically challenging. It will require the combined cooperation of the civilian population, Government and International Organizations.

In China, there is only 2230 m3 of water per person per year available; this ranks China at 110th in the world. China is one of the countries with the least water, but, due to inefficient and antiquated methods consumes or uses the largest amounts of water when compared with like uses to any other places in the world. Among 476 cities in china, 300 have insufficient water resources, 56 of which are facing severe water shortage. There are a further 80 million people from rural areas who have great difficulty even accessing drinking water.

Water has no substitute; it is a finite resource that simply cannot sustain long term exploitation. Already under considerable pressure from quantity and quality issues this precious resource is also being subjected to devastating pollution.

Considerable amounts of money and human resource have already been devoted by Central Government, with the pledge of ongoing support to improving the situation. Today with the rapid development of technology, we as a people must no longer accept the saying “Water crisis is inevitable”. We as a people have the ability to prevent our limited water resource from being polluted by uniting in common endeavor to repair this natural asset and make it usable once again and to give our children and all living things on this planet a better environment to prosper in. In order to realize the above, we need a great deal of effort combined with real and practical action.

The International Foundation for the Protection of Drinking Water (IFPDW) is contributing to this undertaking by way of support for the Five-Year Plan. Sustainable Water Development 2001-2006. This plan provides programs through which the IFPDW in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO), and Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), supported by Chinese Central Government and Chinese Academy of Science & Hydrography, will provide assistance.

The Five-Year Plan provides for four project-based programs

  • Regional Endorsement Program
  • Essence of Life Documentary Program
  • Education Road Show – Seminar & Communication Program
  • Regional Assistance Program

This Five-Year Plan calls for the close participation and cooperation with Regional Governments and Local Authorities. By way of information dissemination and education, promote the concept of water resource protection. By way of close working relationship with Regional Government, introduce new methodology and technologies. Provide technical support, investment and facilitate aid programs, that will in a timely fashion provide long term benefits to the most people.

Such Five-Year Plans are of considerable significance. Contributions such as this plan fuel practical action and effort from the heart of the people. Realization for the necessity and the establishment of Sustainable Water Development may well be brought about from a transient five-year program, but “their influence will be permanent”.