Original title: Ministry of Water Resources: The problem of local groundwater overexploitation is still prominent, with a total area of 287,000 square kilometers. Source: Chinanews.com
Wei Shanzhong, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Water Resources of China, stated on the 22nd that the problem of overexploitation of local groundwater in China is still prominent, with a total area of 287,000 square kilometers of groundwater overexploitation.
At the regular policy briefing held by the State Council that day, Wei Shanzhong introduced the relevant background and content of the “Regulations on Groundwater Management” that will be implemented on December 1.
He said that China attaches great importance to groundwater management and protection. The Ministry of Water Resources, in conjunction with relevant departments, has successively organized and carried out the delineation of groundwater overexploitation areas, the establishment of “dual control” indicators for the total amount of groundwater withdrawal and water level, and the implementation of groundwater pressure in the water-receiving areas of the East and Middle Route of the South-to-North Water Transfer Project. Remarkable results have been achieved in the comprehensive management of groundwater over-exploitation in North China. The annual amount of groundwater extraction nationwide has dropped to 89.2 billion cubic meters in 2020 after reaching a maximum of 113.4 billion cubic meters in 2012.
While achieving results, Wei Shanzhong said frankly that at present, there are still two outstanding problems in the protection and utilization of groundwater in China.
One is serious local overexploitation. At present, 21 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities across the country have different degrees of overexploitation problems, and some areas even have problems with deep groundwater exploitation. The total area of groundwater overexploitation areas is 287,000 square kilometers, with an average annual overexploitation of 15.8 billion cubic meters, of which North China The problem of groundwater overexploitation is the most serious. Over-exploitation has caused the groundwater level to drop, the aquifer is drained, and the water source is depleted, causing problems such as land subsidence, shrinking rivers and lakes, seawater intrusion, and ecological degradation.
The second is the prominent pollution problem. Discharge of urban domestic sewage and industrial wastewater, and agricultural non-point source pollution lead to groundwater pollution. According to the Communiqué on the State of the Ecological Environment in China in 2020, among the 1,242 monitoring points that focus on shallow groundwater quality monitoring, only 22.7% are monitored for water quality of Grade I-III, 33.7% for Grade IV, and 33.7% for Grade V. To 43.6%. In addition to the influence of hydrogeological and chemical background, pollution is the main reason that affects the quality of groundwater. The renewal of groundwater is slow, and it is difficult to treat and repair over-exploitation and pollution problems.
In order to ensure the quality and sustainable use of groundwater, the Ministry of Water Resources and relevant departments drafted the “Regulations on Groundwater Management” (hereinafter referred to as the “Regulations”). The “Regulations” were reviewed and approved at the 149th executive meeting of the State Council on September 15, starting in 2021. Effective on December 1.
“As China’s first special administrative regulation for groundwater management, the “Regulations” will play a very important role in strengthening groundwater management and preventing groundwater overexploitation and pollution.” Wei Shanzhong said that the Ministry of Water Resources will step up efforts to improve relevant systems and accelerate development. The new round of groundwater over-exploitation zone delineation, promote the determination of groundwater “dual control” indicators, accelerate the advancement of groundwater over-exploitation control, strengthen groundwater supervision and water administrative law enforcement, strengthen coordination with relevant departments, and perform groundwater management responsibilities in accordance with the law. Good, make good use of groundwater resources, improve water security capabilities, and maintain a good ecological environment.