World Bank to Help Improve Water Quality in China’s Poyang Lake
WASHINGTON: The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a US$150 million loan today to China to help reduce pollution and improve water environment management in the Poyang Lake basin.
Located in Jiangxi Province, Poyang Lake is China’s largest freshwater lake. It not only provides water for the livelihood of the 45.62 million people living in the province, but also contributes more than 15 percent of the annual runoff of the Yangtze River. Poyang Lake is a wetland of national and global importance, providing a key habitat for half a million migratory birds. However, the water environment is deteriorating, due to increasing pollution from municipal, industrial and rural discharges. Uncontrolled solid waste disposal and insufficient treatment, and improper fish feeding and farmland fertilization practices also cause severe water pollution.
“The project will focus on the key causes for increased pollution level in the Poyang Lake, including lack of basin-wide integrated water and environment management, lack of water quality and pollution source monitoring and disclosure systems, lack of public awareness and involvement, weak enforcement of regulations, and lack of investment in wastewater collection and treatment infrastructure. It will contribute to the achievement of Jiangxi Provincial Government’s targets to reduce pollution by 2020,” said Zhang Ximing, World Bank’s Senior Water Resources Specialist and project team leader.
The Poyang Lake Basin Town Water Environment Management Project will support establishment of a lake management platform, an institutional and knowledge sharing framework that ensures sound coordination with relevant agencies involved in the management of the lake’s water environment. It will also finance establishment of water environment monitoring systems, preparation of lake sensitivity assessment and ecological protection studies, and infrastructure investments aimed to restore river and lake environment and improve domestic wastewater and solid waste services in the seven project counties.
“The project will draw on international best practices, as well as lessons learned from World Bank-financed pollution control and ecological restoration projects in China and around the world. For example, the project will take a participatory approach to control of nonpoint sources of pollution, and consider possible financial incentives for lake water protection,” said Solvita Klapare, World Bank’s Senior Environmental Economist and co-task team leader.
The total cost of the project is estimated at US$219.93 million, to be financed through an IBRD loan of US$150 million and funding from provincial and county governments. The project will be implemented over a period of five years, and directly benefit about 4.4 million residents in the project counties.