Dr. Ying Li, Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Health for the East Tennessee State University College of Public Health, has co-authored an article on water quality management in China. The article, “Policy framework for trans-boundary water quality management in China: Perspective of water quality objectives” was published in the April 2016 issue of Environmental Hazards.
[Photo: Dr. Ying Li]
In river basins that cross jurisdictional boundaries, water quality degradation has become a crucial problem and results in intensive competition among water users, especially in developing countries. In situations such as this, implementing water quality management and control across jurisdictional boundaries can strengthen watershed pollution controls, and prevent pollution from being passed on. It can also promote active pollution control within the related jurisdictional regions.
This study examined the limitations of the current trans-boundary water quality management system in China and reviewed the planning and implementation of two pilot integrated trans-boundary water management systems established in the Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces. Based on the study’s findings, the researchers proposed a new policy framework for trans-boundary water quality management.
According to a 2006 report by The World Bank, China’s economy has grown rapidly since the nation entered the reform path in 1979, and particularly since the industrial expansion started in the mid-1980s. Rapid growth, however, has been accompanied by considerable environmental side effects, one of the gravest of which is deteriorated water quality in large parts of the country’s extensive water systems.
As a first step toward integrated watershed management in China, the policy framework from Dr. Li’s study can help assess the actual water pollution status of various regions and serve as a basis for an integrated watershed management system. The framework can be easily applied in other countries with trans-boundary water pollution issues, particularly in the context of developing countries.