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15 July 2015

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River Chief System Helps Improve Water Quality

2018-06-05 Download Print Comment


The photo taken on June 4 shows clear water and green banks at Meishui Park Section of Meishui River, Shuangfeng County. In recent years, the county actively follows the river chief system (Hezhangzhi) and has implemented strict management over its 185 rivers and 203 reservoirs. The moves aims to create a sound ecological environment. (Photo/Nai Jihui)

Background information: (Source:, the official website of ministry of water resources)

China starts the River Chief System (Hezhangzhi).

The general offices of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the State Council, China's Cabinet, have jointly issued a document to implement a river keeper system nationwide. A river chief, as the name suggests, will be responsible for the management and protection of watercourses, as well as preventing pollution and restoring the water ecology.

The document requires local governments and Party committees to work out specific programs to implement the system and strengthen the management and protection of rivers. A sound nationwide river chief system is likely to be put in place by the end of 2018.

According to the document, China will establish provincial, municipal, and county-and township-level river chief systems, and appoint heads of local government at various levels as river chiefs. Each province, autonomous region and municipality should appoint its government head as its general river chief. And mayors as well as county heads should be responsible for the protection of water sources in their administrative regions.

The document also says the river chiefs will be held accountable for any environmental damage in their region. And their performance as river chiefs will be evaluated as part of their political performance. Every January provincial Party committees and governments have to report the progress they have made in water resource protection in the previous year to the central government.

Information on river chiefs, including their names and responsibilities, will be made public so as to bring their work under public supervision.

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Translator: Xiao Juan

Chinese source: