The expected impact of the project will be enhanced quality of life and sustainable economic development of Xiang River basin in Hunan Province. The outcome of the project will be improved quality of water resource and environment of Dongjiang Lake. The project will include four outputs: (i) improved pollution control, (ii) established urban rural water supply system, (iii) integrated ecosystem rehabilitation and management, and (iv) strengthened environmental and project management capacity.
The project design will assess and incorporate lessons from previous projects and policy-oriented studies on integrated water resources management and environment improvement in the PRC. Major lessons include (i) an integrated approach of structural and nonstructural measures to water resources management; (ii) wide community participation and increased public awareness for environmental improvement; (iii) linking environmental protection with livelihood; and (iv) eco-compensation for maintaining environmental services. The project is expected to scale up and/or demonstrate the following good practices in the PRC: (i) an integrated approach to water resources management by structural and nonstructural measures, (ii) environmental protection linked with livelihood improvement, and (iii) eco-compensation.
The project is considered complex as safeguard categorizations for both environment and involuntary resettlement are category A.
The Zixing city government (ZCG) will be the executing agency responsible for overall project planning and management. A project management office has also been formed to be responsible for daily preparation and implementation of the project. The implementing agencies may include relevant ZCG bureaus.
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
The proposed project will be implemented in the Dongjiang Lake basin in Zixing City, Chenzhou Municipality, Hunan Province of the People's Republic of China (PRC). The project will introduintroduce an integrated approach to address the current constraints in lake conservation and environmental protection by structural and nonstructural measures.
Dongjiang Lake basin has a catchment area of about 4,719 square kilometers. The population of Dongjiang Lake basin is about 604,100, of which the rural population is about 460,500. Dongjiang Lake is a reservoir formed after the construction of Dongjiang Dam in 1986 on the Leishui River, a tributary of Xiang River. Dongjiang Dam is a multipurpose dam for hydropower, flood control, water supply, and irrigation. It has a surface area of 160 square kilometers and a total storage capacity of about 8.12 billion cubic meters. Dongjiang Lake basin has among the highest levels of biodiversity in Hunan Provincece an integrated approach to address the current constraints in lake conservation and environmental protection by structural and nonstructural measures.
Dongjiang Lake protection is the government's priority. It has been selected as one of the five river basins for nationwide pilot-testing of the government's eco-compensation policy framework to which the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has provided continuous support in recent years. Dongjiang Lake is a strategic resource for the entire Hunan Province. In addition to providing water to Chenzhou and Zixing cities, Dongjiang Lake has been designated as a secondary water source for the province's major cities of Changsha, Hengyang, Xiangtan, and Zhuzhou to improve the water security of 13 million populations in these cities in Xiang River basin. The large storage capacity greatly improves flood and drought management for downstream cities and residents. It also helps dilute water pollution in the downstream of Xiang River by releasing water from regular reservoir operations. It is, therefore, the government's priority to protect the water resources of Dongjiang Lake from pollution and to maintain healthy environmental services for social and economic development of the Xiang River basin. Current lake water quality meets the national standards for drinking water source. However, the water quality is at risk due to contamination from untreated wastewater, soil erosion and sedimentation, and eutrophication from nonpoint source pollution such as farming and livestock.
The governments have been increasing their investments in lake protection. Protection zones have been established in the Dongjiang Lake basin in accordance with the provincial-approved Dongjiang Lake Basin Water Environmental Protection Regulation. The Dongjiang Lake Basin Water Environmental Protection Plan was developed in 2007 and is currently under revision. External assistance is required to help implement the plan. Opportunities for introducing eco-compensation, formulating wastewater tariff, and improving the lake management regulation and framework will be analyzed and incorporated in the project design. Opportunities for private sector participation in water supply and wastewater treatment will also be explored during project preparation.
The project is consistent with the government's goal of building a harmonious and prosperous society through livelihood improvements and regionally balanced and environmentally sustainable growth. It follows new national urbanization plan (2014) with emphasis on rural and urban integration. The project is in line with ADB's country partnership strategy, 2011 2015 for the PRC which focuses on the three pillars of inclusive growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional cooperation and integration. It conforms to ADB's Water Operational Plan 2011 2020 to increase coverage and improved services for water supply and sanitation, and to promote integrated water resources management.