On January 17, 2020, Ministry of Water Resources convened the press conference, under the theme of hydrology supporting economic and social development. With the feature of public interest, hydrology is fundamental to national economy and social development and has played a supporting role to water governance and social and economic development in China. At the press conference, Mr. Cai Jianyuan, Director General of Department of Hydrology of the Ministry of Water Resources gave an introduction on the relevant information and officials answered questions from the media.
Over the past 70 years since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, China has made remarkable progress in hydrology.
1. China has gradually established a hydrological monitoring station network with large spatial distribution, complete monitoring items and comprehensive monitoring station functions, which has realized the full coverage of hydrological monitoring for large rivers, major tributaries, and small and medium rivers with flood control tasks. Until now, 121,000 hydrological monitoring stations were built, including 3,154 national basic hydrological stations, 14,286 ground water quality monitoring stations and 26,550 underground water quality monitoring stations. The overall density of hydrological stations has reached the level of medium developed countries.
2. Hydrological monitoring capacity has been significantly enhanced. The monitoring technology has shifted from traditional human observation to automatic monitoring, with realization of automatic monitoring over water level and rainfall.
3. The hydrological management system has been constantly improved. In 2007, the Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on Hydrology was enacted and enforced. So far, the number of hydrology-related personnel has exceeded 60,000, and the hydrological talent team continues to grow steadily.
Hydrology provides support and services to water and social and economic development in the following aspects.
1. Flood control, drought relief and disaster reduction. Hydrology has played a key role in defense of big floods in large rivers, and some small and medium rivers, as well as the severe drought in some provinces and regions, by providing support for scientific decision-making, reducing disaster losses and ensuring safety of people' lives and properties.
2. Management of water resources. In order to improve water allocation, conservation and protection, more attention has been paid on improvement of water resources monitoring system, emphasizing on water quantity and quality monitoring in administrative boundaries, water supply sources and important control sections, implementation of national groundwater monitoring project, as well as water resources assessment, early warning and forecasting.
3. Water ecological protection. In the face of new water problems, such as degradation of water ecology and water environment, and on the basis of realizing the normalization of algae monitoring in important lakes, reservoirs and other water bodies, monitoring items have been expanded to plankton, benthos, fish and aquatic plants. Concerning the control of groundwater overdraft in North China and ecological flow issues, great efforts have been made on monitoring result analysis and evaluation.
4. Water project construction and operations. By the end of 2019, more than 4,000 historical documentations and hydrological yearbooks have been published, containing about 2.54 million pages and 2.54 billion data, forming a series of hydrological information of major rivers over the past 70 years.
5. Emergency management for sudden water-related accidents. In recent years, regarding frequent occurrence of water-related accidents in China, positive responses have been provided by the hydrological department, with provision of timely monitoring information and prediction, which has enabled efficient and effective mitigation of disasters.
6. Public service by providing hydrologic information. In order to strengthen public sharing of hydrological data, hydrological departments at all levels provide hydrological information services to the public constantly through news media, hydrological information system and reports and bulletins.
In the new age, the hydrological development of China will concentrate on optimizing the network of hydrological stations, enhancing capability of hydrological monitoring, prediction and services, and play a role as "spearhead" and "ear and eye" for supervision in water sector, and safeguard high-quality social and economic development and well-being of the people.