China, People's Republic of: Urban Wastewater Reuse and Sludge Utilization Policy Study

Sovereign Project | 42013-012

Summary

The expected impact of the advisory TA is a strengthened and more effective and efficient system for managing wastewater reuse and sewage sludge utilization in the PRC. The expected outcome of the TA is a set of policies and guidelines to promote the reuse of wastewater and encourage beneficial sludge utilization that could be widely adopted by municipalities in the PRC. The TA focused on the development of the following: (i) policy recommendations related to planning procedures and regulations, technology applications, and institutional capacity for promoting wastewater reuse; and (ii) a national policy framework for the promotion of beneficial sludge utilization.

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Project Name Urban Wastewater Reuse and Sludge Utilization Policy Study
Project Number 42013-012
Country China, People's Republic of
Project Status Closed
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
TA 7083-PRC: Urban Wastewater Reuse and Sludge Utilization Policy Study
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 700,000.00
Strategic Agendas Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Governance and capacity development
Partnerships
Sector / Subsector Water and other urban infrastructure and services - Urban sewerage
Gender Equity and Mainstreaming No gender elements
Description The expected impact of the advisory TA is a strengthened and more effective and efficient system for managing wastewater reuse and sewage sludge utilization in the PRC. The expected outcome of the TA is a set of policies and guidelines to promote the reuse of wastewater and encourage beneficial sludge utilization that could be widely adopted by municipalities in the PRC. The TA focused on the development of the following: (i) policy recommendations related to planning procedures and regulations, technology applications, and institutional capacity for promoting wastewater reuse; and (ii) a national policy framework for the promotion of beneficial sludge utilization.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

The continuous economic growth of the PRC has been accompanied by rapid urbanization, environmental degradation, and increased pressure on water resources. The PRC has made rapid and sustained progress over the last 15 years to construct and operate state-of-the-art urban wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) to serve its some 600 cities. The priority objective was to halt environmental degradation of the country's inland watercourses and coastline, and much has been achieved with the urban wastewater treatment rate reaching 75% in 2009. However, this success has not significantly contributed to mitigate the increasing water scarcity problem that the PRC faces, as little emphasis was given to the promotion of wastewater reuse. The rapid increase in wastewater treatment rates has also brought with it a new challenge, the management of increasing volumes of WWTP sewage sludge.

The Government of the PRC is fully aware of the critical role that urban wastewater reuse and safe sewage sludge management play to ensure sustainable urbanization. It has shown strong commitment to reforms in the sector, prominently reflected in the Eleventh and Twelfth Five-Year Plans. During the Country Programming Mission in December 2007, the government requested ADB to provide advisory technical assistance (TA) for an urban wastewater reuse and sludge utilization policy study, with the aim of assisting the government in developing policies, strategies, and action plans to promote and effectively implement urban wastewater reuse and sludge management.

Impact A strengthened and more effective and efficient system for managing wastewater reuse and sewage sludge utilization in the PRC.
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome The adoption of a set of policies and tariff guidelines to promote the reuse of wastewater and technical and market-based approaches to encourage sustainable sludge disposal, including energy recovery, that could be widely adopted by municipalities in the PRC.
Progress Toward Outcome The TA has accomplished the expected outcome on an expanded scale. The policy study has played a catalytic role in promoting policy innovation to regulate and promote beneficial sludge utilization and wastewater reuse. In consistence with the recommendations of the policy study, MOHURD and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) have promulgated national technical guidelines for urban sewage sludge treatment and disposal in March 2011. The Twelfth Five-Year Plan for the construction of urban wastewater facilities (draft) introduces the concept of technical routes for sludge management, promotes low-carbon approaches to sludge management, and sets the national goal of 70% and 50% sludge treatment by 2015 for large and small cities respectively. Guidelines related to wastewater reuse are currently being developed and expected to be released in 2012/2013. Knowledge sharing was also promoted through an international study tour, participation at workshops and conferences (3), as well as international (1) and national (2) publications. TA findings also influenced the development of strategic plans in the two pilot cities, including Beijing's 12th Five-Year Plan for urban wastewater treatment, sewage, and reclaimed water (draft) and Shanghai's urban sewage sludge treatment and disposal master plan (2009-2020).
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

A study report that provides advice on: (i) pricing and planning policies; (ii) stakeholder coordination strategies; and (iii) regulatory guidance.

A designed operational model for pilot-testing operations in the selected case-study cities to expand wastewater reuse and sludge utilization mechanisms.

A study report that summarizing operational and performance data from pilot testing in selected cities and providing recommendations for future application of tariffs for wastewater reuse and selection of appropriate technology for energy recovery from sewage sludge.

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

All planned TA activities were completed. The TA activity started with the conduct of extensive international best practice reviews (IBPR) in relation to urban wastewater reuse and sludge management. The findings of these IBPR were compared with PRC policies and practices. A more detailed assessment was carried out in the two pilot cities (Beijing and Shanghai). Particular attention was also paid to relevant ADB project experience in the PRC, most notably the Wuhan Urban Environmental Improvement Project. Based on the comparative analysis, the Consultant drafted a comprehensive policy framework and supporting guidelines for wastewater reuse and sludge management in the PRC. These were discussed with the pilot cities and MOHURD in the framework of TA inception (July 2009) and interim (May 2010) review workshops, and presented at three national conferences. Feedback provided during the consultation process, as well the observations made during an international study tour in Europe (August 2010) were used to review and finalize the policy framework. The TA final report was approved by ADB in May 2011.

The TA has accomplished the expected outputs on an expanded scale. Outputs of the policy study are summarized in the final report submitted by the Consultant, which is well received by MOHURD and the pilot cities. The TA's final report produced a sound analysis on (i) international best practice of urban wastewater reuse and beneficial sludge utilization; (ii) current PRC policies, practices, and trends in urban wastewater reuse and sludge management; and (iii) technical routes for sludge treatment and utilization, including their carbon footprint.

The culmination of these analyses was the drafting of a comprehensive policy framework that includes (i) recommendations on a reclaimed water utilization management policy framework, (ii) recommendations on a sludge reuse management policy framework, (iii) draft guidelines for the selection of sludge technical routes, (iv) a carbon footprint assessment framework for sludge treatment and disposal, (v) draft urban wastewater reuse safety regulations, and (vi) guidance on the development of marketing and public relations strategies.

Based on the findings and conclusions of the TA final report, three publications were produced including (i) a scientific article entitled Comparative Analysis of Sewage Sludge Management Options for Chinese Cities presented at the International Water Association International Conference on Cities of the Future Xi'an: Technologies for Integrated Urban Water Management (September 2011); (ii) an article entitled Promoting Sustainable Sewage Sludge Management in the PRC published in the International and the Chinese edition of Water21, the magazine of the International Water Association; and (iii) an ADB publication entitled Towards Beneficial Sewage Sludge Utilization in the PRC , which will be published in February 2012.

Geographical Location PRC
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design The proposal has been identified and conceptualized through domestic processing procedure of the PRC Government and was proposed jointly by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Construction for inclusion in the ADB 2008 assistance program during country programming mission held in December 2007.
During Project Implementation

Participatory consultation with a wide range of stakeholders was ensured during fact-finding and implementation of the TA. Several workshops were conducted with the Pilot Stuy Cities (Beijing and Shanghai) to discuss the draft policy recommendations. The findings of the study were presented and discussed in the framework of the 5th International Conference for China Urban Water Development and Annual Convention of the China Urban Water Association, held in Wuxi, Jiangsu, from 1-3 November 2010. The symposium was hosted by the Chinese Society for Urban Studies, the China Urban Water Association, the Department of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of Jiangsu Province and the Wuxi Municipal Government in association with MOHURD, MOEP and Jiangsu Provincial Government. The attendees included officials from MOHURD, MOEP and provincial and municipal water agencies, representatives of ADB, the IWA China Committee, universities, water and wastewater companies.

Final Review Mission fielded 22-24 February 2011 to review TA progress. TA Final Report submitted. The Study has made substantial progress and reached the intended outcome. MOHURD appreciates the quality support and attention provided by ADB staff.

The Project engaged additional international consulting services comprising the following: (i) environmental sanitation and climate change specialist, and (ii) wastewater management specialist to strengthen dissemination of the TA outputs.

Business Opportunities
Consulting Services

The consultants were engaged through a firm in accordance with ADB's Guidelines on the Use of Consultants on the basis of the quality and cost-based selection method using full technical proposal procedure.

A total of 73.5 person-months of consulting services (13.5 international and 60 national) were required. AECOM Asia Ltd., a leading company in the field of wastewater treatment and sludge management, was engaged as the consulting firm (the Consultant). The Consultant's performance was satisfactory. The Consultant provided sound advice based on international best practices (primarily from Europe, the United States, Australia, and Asia), and assisted in preparing a policy framework to promote urban wastewater reuse and beneficial sludge utilization in the PRC.

Responsible ADB Officer Antoine Morel
Responsible ADB Department East Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Urban and Social Sectors Division, EARD
Executing Agencies
Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural DevelopmentMr. LI Zhelizhe@mail.cin.gov.cnNo. 9 Sanlihe Road, Beijing 100835, PRC
Timetable
Concept Clearance 15 Jan 2008
Fact Finding 25 Feb 2008 to 12 Mar 2008
MRM -
Approval 26 May 2008
Last Review Mission -
PDS Creation Date 04 Feb 2008
Last PDS Update 19 Dec 2011

TA 7083-PRC

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
26 May 2008 02 Jul 2008 02 Jul 2008 30 Apr 2010 30 Sep 2011 -
Financing Plan/TA Utilization Cumulative Disbursements
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total Date Amount
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
700,000.00 0.00 200,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 900,000.00 26 May 2008 914,940.59

Safeguard Documents

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Evaluation Documents

See also: Independent Evaluation

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