China, People's Republic of: Nonpoint Source Pollution Control in Catchment Areas

Sovereign Project | 44040-012

Summary

The government's 12th Five-Year Plan (FYP 2011-2015) highlights the strategic direction of building a resource-efficient and environmentally friendly society. NPS pollution has become the focus of water environmental regulations since the decrease in ammonia nitrogen emissions, for which NPS is the major contributor, is one of the binding indicators for the coming five years. In line with the government's strategy, ADB identifies environmentally sustainable growth as one of the two pillars in the CPS (2011-2015, being finalized) framework and will support protection and sustainable use of land, water, and forest resources. ADB has started preparatory work for the proposed loan for Anhui Chao Lake Environmental Rehabilitation project, which is expected to be approved in 2012. To share resources and improve efficiency, the proposed TA will use Chao Lake for its case study.

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Project Name Nonpoint Source Pollution Control in Catchment Areas
Project Number 44040-012
Country China, People's Republic of
Project Status Approved
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
TA 7952-PRC: Nonpoint Source Pollution Control in Catchment Areas
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 480,000.00
Strategic Agendas Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change
Sector / Subsector Agriculture, natural resources and rural development - Water-based natural resources management
Gender Equity and Mainstreaming No gender elements
Description The government's 12th Five-Year Plan (FYP 2011-2015) highlights the strategic direction of building a resource-efficient and environmentally friendly society. NPS pollution has become the focus of water environmental regulations since the decrease in ammonia nitrogen emissions, for which NPS is the major contributor, is one of the binding indicators for the coming five years. In line with the government's strategy, ADB identifies environmentally sustainable growth as one of the two pillars in the CPS (2011-2015, being finalized) framework and will support protection and sustainable use of land, water, and forest resources. ADB has started preparatory work for the proposed loan for Anhui Chao Lake Environmental Rehabilitation project, which is expected to be approved in 2012. To share resources and improve efficiency, the proposed TA will use Chao Lake for its case study.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

The People's Republic of China's (PRC) sustainable development is facing serious constraint from water resource scarcity. Its annual per capita water availability, between 1,800 and 2,200 cubic meters, is only about one-quarter of the world average, and the northern region is below the "water scarcity" level defined at 1,000 cubic meters. The considerable water scarcity in the PRC is aggravated by severe water pollution. According to the Ministry of Environmental Protection's (MEP) report on environment state in 2009, among the 408 river sections monitored, more than 40% have unsafe water for human consumption and about 18% unsafe for any use. Unfortunately, there is no evidence suggesting that water quality has improved significantly with rapid economic growth.

Sources of water pollution can be broadly defined in two categories: point sources and nonpoint sources (NPS). Point sources of water pollution, such as large industrial facilities or sewage treatment plants, emit pollutants into water body from a fixed, readily identifiable point. In contrast, emissions from NPS are geographically diffused and temporally stochastic. Major NPS of water pollution include agro-chemical (fertilizer, pesticide, herbicide) runoff, discharges from animal or aquatic production activities, and soil erosion, which are mostly concentrated in rural areas.

While the PRC government has made significant advances in the control of industrial and domestic point sources of water pollution, NPS pollution has become a growing challenge nationwide. The first national general survey of pollution sources carried out by the MEP between 2007 and 2010 concluded that NPS pollution accounted for about 44% of COD, 55% of total nitrogen, and 67% of total phosphorous discharges. Runoff from farm fields was the second largest source of total nitrogen discharges, next to domestic wastewater. Intensive animal husbandry industry was found to be the largest source of total phosphorous discharges, both of which contributed directly to the pervasive eutrophication of the PRC water. Therefore, NPS pollution will have to be dealt with effectively if the water pollution situation is to be brought under control.

The nature of NPS determines the difficulties and challenges in NPS pollution control. First of all, it is extremely difficult to monitor and measure (quantify) emissions from NPS although it is the basis for a number of pollution control instruments, such as emissions trading program. Emission proxies through measuring inputs (e.g., use of fertilizer), practices, performance (e.g., annual soil loss), and ambient concentrations of pollutants were often developed and adopted in various developed countries. It remains a question how to monitor and measure NPS emissions in ways that are suitable and cost effective in the context of developing countries such as the PRC.

Second, agricultural runoff as the major component of the NPS is by and large a result of choice and behavior of many small farmers. Without policy interventions, the dominant goal of the farmers is to increase agricultural production in the most cost-effective way, which suggests increasing dependence on fertilizer and choosing low-priced, single-ingredient fertilizers over high-priced, compound fertilizers. In response to market demand, there has been a tremendous growth in livestock production in the PRC. While it has increased rural income levels, the sector is characterized by numerous small- and medium-sized producers with low efficiency in terms of environmental preservation. Therefore, differing from point-sources regulations, management framework for NPS pollution control needs to take into account many small contributors with relatively limited income-earning potentials and possibly interact with policies in other sectors, such as agriculture and water resources, which affect the incentives and decisions of the polluters significantly.

Third, while a range of policy instruments are available for NPS pollution control, it remains largely unknown which one, individually or in combination, can work effectively and efficiently in a developing context. The potential instruments include direct regulations (e.g., mandatory use of certain practices), economic incentives (e.g., taxes and subsidies, eco-compensation), liability rules, education campaigns, etc. Given the limited experience with these instruments in dealing with NPS in the PRC, evidence on how they have worked is rather rare. With limited resources, it will be feasible and more effective to study these policy instruments with a case-study approach focusing on one of the key watersheds and then upscale the findings to the national level.

Chao Lake is the fifth largest freshwater lake in the PRC with a surface area of 776 km2 and lake basin area of 13,350 km2. The lake is the major source of drinking water for 6.3 million residents in the surrounding cities and towns and source of water for irrigation and industrial production. Chao Lake basin has been suffering from serious water pollution since 1990s, and NPS discharge, due to intensification of agricultural practices and dramatic increase in livestock production, is one of the major challenges. In addition to its importance and urgency, Chao Lake makes a good candidate for a case study because it is one of the operational priorities of ADB in the PRC. The loan project, Anhui Chao Lake Environmental Rehabilitation (P44036-PRC) currently under processing, aims to introduce an integrated approach to addressing Chao Lake pollution and NPS will be one of the project's focuses. Therefore, Chao Lake would serve as a good case study from resource sharing and efficiency perspectives.

Impact Reduced NPS pollution in the key lakes and reservoirs
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome Improved NPS pollution management and control
Progress Toward Outcome TA implementation has been progressing smoothly and most of the TA activities are nearing completion, such as (i) the draft final report has been submitted in September 2014 and the final review workshop held on 31 October 2014; (ii) a policy note in Chinese which summarizes the main policy recommendations on NPS pollution management from the TA, for the Ten Measures for Water Pollution Prevention and Control, a key policy document under preparation to fight water quality degradation in the PRC, has been prepared.
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

A comprehensive review of international practices and experiences in NPS pollution control is conducted.

An in-depth technical study on NPS pollution monitoring and measurement is conducted.

A draft NPS pollution management framework for key lakes and reservoirs is prepared.

A knowledge product identifying the causes of NPS pollution and discussing challenges in and policy recommendations for NPS pollution control is prepared.

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

Completed the comprehensive review of international practices and experiences in NPS pollution control is conducted.

Ongoing in depth technical study on NPS pollution monitoring and measurement. On 23 Jan 2014, a researcher from MEPs Satellite Environment Centre was engaged to collaborate on a case study in Chao Lake Basin, which would strengthen the TA's component on developing NPS monitoring and measurement methodology by using satellite image date to estimate NPS discharge.

Ongoing preparation of draft NPS pollution management framework for key lakes and reservoirs.

Geographical Location TBD
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design
During Project Implementation Inception workshop and interim workshop are conducted by ADB, TA consultants together with officials from the MEPs' Department of Pollution Prevention Control, Drinking Water Division Department of Pollution Prevention and Control, Foreign Economic Cooperation Office, Policy Research Center for Environment and Economy, Water Protection Office, Environmental Protection Bureau of Anhui Province, Anhui Province Agriculture Ecological Environment Station and Chao Lake Administration Bureau Anhui Province.
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services The TA will require an estimated 9 person-months of international and 40 person-months of national consultants with expertise in the areas of NPS pollution control, agricultural economics and policy, water resource management, and environmental economics and policy. The consultants will be engaged through a consulting firm by ADB, in accordance with ADB's Guidelines on the Use of Consultants (2010, as amended from time to time), using the quality- and cost-based selection (QCBS) method, with a quality-cost ratio of 90:10. The simplified technical proposal (STP) approach will be used.
Procurement Equipment for research and field investigation will be procured following ADB's Procurement Guidelines.
Responsible ADB Officer Yi Jiang
Responsible ADB Department East Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Environment, Natural Resources & Agriculture Division, EARD
Executing Agencies
Ministry of Environmental Protection115 Xizhimen Nanxiaojie, Beijing
Timetable
Concept Clearance 09 Nov 2011
Fact Finding -
MRM -
Approval 09 Dec 2011
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 20 Mar 2015

TA 7952-PRC

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
09 Dec 2011 03 Jan 2012 03 Jan 2012 31 Dec 2013 30 Jun 2015 -
Financing Plan/TA Utilization Cumulative Disbursements
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total Date Amount
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
480,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 480,000.00 09 Dec 2011 295,725.62
Title Document Type Document Date
Nonpoint Source Pollution Control in Catchment Areas Technical Assistance Reports Dec 2011

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