In a recently released report, the World Bank applauds China for recognizing its impending water scarcity crisis. It also suggests a series of solutions the nation should consider to improve the quality and availability of the resource. Among them, the Bank suggests that China’s problems might be solved through raising prices for water.
According to James Adams, Vice President of the World Bank’s East Asia and Pacific Region, “The objective of this report is to provide an overview of China’s water scarcity situation, assess the policy and institutional requirements for addressing it, and recommend key areas for strengthening and reform.” The objectives range from social to ecological, but the suggested reforms primarily focus on market-based solutions.
- Reform water policy and governance, encouraging public participation in decision making.
- Create property rights for water, in order to improve the economic mobility of the resource.
- Raise prices of water to reflect scarcity and promote conservation.
- Protect the environment through market-oriented incentives.
- Strengthen enforcement of policies and laws to motivate compliance, reduce pollution.
“There are grounds for optimism,” stated David Dollar, the World Bank Country Director for China, in a press release. “The Chinese, who have demonstrated immense innovative capacity in their successful program of economic reform, can and should take another bold move in reforming the institutional and policy framework to make it become a world leader in water resource management.”
Source: The World Bank