During the 2011 country programming review mission, the government of the People's Republic of China (PRC) requested technical assistance (TA) from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for pilot implementation of the drought management strategy. In August 2012, a fact-finding mission visited the PRC; and reached an understanding with the government on the TA project's impact, outcome, and output;, cost estimates and, financing plan;, implementation arrangements;, and the consultants' terms of reference.
The expected impact of the CDTA will be improved and sustainable drought management in the PRC, and the expected outcome of the CDTA will be the strengthened capacities for drought risk management of the FCDRHs at the national level and in the three pilot provinces. The outputs of the TA will be changes in drought management from reactive emergency response to proactive risk management demonstrated in the three pilot provinces. Specifically, the TA will produce (i) drought risk management tools, (ii) an institutional and capacity development program for drought risk management and water saving, and an educational and public awareness program for water saving, (iii) a detailed and tailored drought risk management plan for each pilot province, and (iv) guidelines for the implementation of the national drought management strategy across the PRC.
The PRC's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) supports the long-term goal of building a harmonious and moderately prosperous (xiaokang) society through livelihood improvement, and regionally balanced and environmentally sustainable growth. ADB's country partnership strategy (CPS), 2011-2015 for the PRC supports the government's overarching strategic goal of building a xiaokang society by focusing on three strategic pillars: inclusive growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional cooperation and integration. The proposed TA will support the government in implementing the national drought management strategy and is in line with the PRC's 12th Five-Year Plan and ADB's CPS in improving livelihood and promoting inclusive and environmentally sustainable growth. The TA is also in line with the priorities of ADB's water policy in promoting a national focus on water sector reform and fostering integrated management of water resources.
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
The PRC is facing an increasing pressure on water resources from continued economic development, increasing population, urbanization, and climate change impacts. Water scarcity is leading to conflict and competition between water users, and relatively small changes in rainfall are having an increasing large impact on supply availability. The need to maintain food security and social stability is very important in the PRC, and increasing drought or water scarcity is an issue for both. From 2006 to 2011, droughts cost the PRC CNY54.6 billion -CNY150.9 billion per /year in direct economic losses, amounting to 0.17% -0.46% of the gross domestic product. From 1950 to 2011, droughts affected 214,747.8 square kilometers (km2/) per year of farmland; and reduced grain production by 16.2 million tons per /year on average;, and, from 1991 to 2011, triggered water shortages to 27.8 million people per/ year on average.
About 60.7 million people experienced drinking water shortages during a severe drought between 2000 and 2001, which affected more than 620 cities and towns in 18 provinces. Moreover, particularly in large cities, water supplies were under dangerously low levels. The 2-year drought also caused a reduction of 114.7 million tons of grains, creating concerns about food security in the PRC. In 2006, the PRC again suffered a severe drought, which resulted in water shortages to 35.8 million people; and a reduction of about 41.7 million tons of grains. From 2009 to 2010, an unusual and severe drought spread across a region in the southwest provinces in the PRC, equivalent to the size of Wwestern Europe;, and sent 20 million people looking and waiting for drinking water.
In recent years, the national, provincial, and local governments have established national-, provincial-, and city-level drought management plans, guidelines, rules, and regulations, such as drought relief guidelines and emergency plans at the national, provincial, and city levels. The major shortcoming of these was that drought-relief actions are generally passive in responding to crises caused by droughts. Although the PRC has made remarkable achievements in coping with droughts using structural measures such as the construction of water conservation structures and irrigation systems, this approach could produce negative impacts on water cycles, ecosystems, and the environment. Generally, as drought impacts have become more severe, the traditional approach of using structural measures is no longer practical or economically feasible. Structural measures cannot meet all requirements for drought management;, and nonstructural measures, such as drought monitoring, forecasting and warning, and water saving technologies, have yet to be developed.
To undertake systematic and comprehensive drought management assessment and establish an integrated drought management strategy, ADB provided the Ministry of Water Resources (MWR) with TA 7261-PRC: Strategy for Drought Management. TA 7261-PRC produced a national drought management strategy framework and an action plan to implement an integrated drought management approach. Based on these outputs of TA 7261-PRC, MWR prepared a national drought management plan that included a drought management strategy and an action plan. A drought risk management approach is the principle of this plan. A knowledge product on drought management incorporating lessons learned from TA7261-PRC was also published.
The key recommendation of TA 7261-PRC was a shift from reactive emergency response to proactive risk management. To achieve this, TA 7261-PRC recommended that the flood control and drought relief headquarters (FCDRHs) take a leading role in proactive drought risk management; and capacity development and institutional and organizational reforms of the FCDRHs be undertaken. During flood and drought emergencies, the FCDRHs at the national and other levels of government administration take command of operations, emergency responses, and post-disaster recovery. The office of the state FCDRH at the national level is located at the MWR. In a similar manner, the offices of river basin, provincial, city, and county FCDRHs are located at river basin commissions, provincial departments of water resources (DWRs), city bureaus of water resources, and county bureaus of water resources, respectively.
Following the key recommendations of TA 7261-PRC, the government requested that a second phase of TA 7261-PRC be provided to pilot and develop drought risk management tools, strengthen the capacity of officials involved in drought management, prepare a detailed and tailored drought risk management plan for each pilot province, and prepare guidelines for the implementation of the national drought management strategy across the PRC. Gansu, Liaoning, and Sichuan provinces will be pilot provinces. These provinces have been seriously affected by droughts and represent a range of locations that allow for scaling up of the models and methodologies piloted and developed.