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Water infrastructure projects creating jobs
By:China Daily
update:December 13,2023
Dec.13, 2023 -- Construction of water infrastructure in China has helped improve the livelihoods of people in rural areas, generated a large number of employment opportunities and beefed up water supplies, senior water resources officials said.
"China is seeing growth in employment and wages in the water infrastructure construction sector, providing more workers with higher remuneration," Chen Min, vice-minister of water resources, said at a news conference on Tuesday.
From January to November, water conservancy projects created jobs for 2.6 million people, a year-on-year increase of 9.1 percent, among whom 2.1 million were from rural areas.
Meanwhile, wages in this sector totaled 50.5 billion yuan ($7.02 billion), a 40.6 percent year-on-year increase, among which 38.1 billion yuan was given to people in rural areas, according to Chen.
The vice-minister said that major water infrastructure projects played a vital role in stabilizing economic growth and promoting employment.
According to the Ministry of Water Resources, a record 27,300 new water conservancy projects were launched nationwide in the first 11 months of this year, a year-on-year increase of 10.5 percent. Total investment reached a record 1.2 trillion yuan.
One of the key focuses of water infrastructure construction has been rural water supply projects.
Under guidelines issued by the ministry to accelerate the high-quality development of rural water supplies, the government prioritizes the integrated development of urban and rural water supply, scales up centralized water supplies, facilitates standardized construction and renovation of small-scale water supply projects, and promotes unified and specialized management of rural water supply projects at the county level, said Xu Dezhi, deputy director of the department of rural water and hydropower at the ministry.
A total of 17,881 rural water supply projects were completed from January to November, improving water supply standards for 82.1 million rural residents. More than 4 billion yuan was invested in maintaining 98,800 existing projects in rural areas, Xu said.
During the period, authorities identified and addressed water quality problems in 1,211 locations and equipped water purification and disinfection devices for over 75 percent of the rural water supply projects.
In drought-affected areas, authorities utilized emergency water storage and transferred water from other regions to guarantee sufficient drinking water for residents and livestock.
In flood areas, the government accelerated the restoration of water supply projects and underscored water quality testing and real-time monitoring to ensure safe and reliable water supplies.
China solved the temporary recurrence of drinking water problems for 1.8 million rural residents from January to November.
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