Managing Water in Multi-Layered Political Systems
Edited by Dustin E. Garrick, George R.M. Anderson, Daniel Connell and Jamie Pittock
Chapter 16: China's political system, economic reform and the governance of water quality in the Pearl River Basin
Chinaís economic reform and opening up process initiated in 1978 has supported a more decentralized style of governing public affairs, including water resources management. With the aim of promoting economic growth, provincial and municipal authorities were given enhanced economic and administrative powers. This has encouraged greater competition among jurisdictions to attract investment. Some of the pitfalls of such fragmentation have been exposed by the difficulties in cross-boundary work to control water pollution, monitor water quality and safeguard drinking water security. This is illustrated through the analysis of the Pearl River Basinís case. The institutional structures in place display features that seem to have negative consequences for the capacity of the governance regime to adjust and address evolving social and environmental challenges.
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