Today, the Danish Minister for the Environment, Karen Ellemann, and Chinese Minister for Water Resources, Chen Lei, signed a cooperation agreement on the protection of water resources in China.
China has approximately 20 percent of the world’s population but only 7 percent of the world’s water resources. With an average economic growth of approximately 10 percent over the past 30 years, water resources are under severe pressure in China.
Therefore, the Chinese Ministry for Water Resources is very interested in learning from the Danish experiences with regulation and protection of water resources.
During her visit to China 21-25 June, the Danish Minister for the Environment, Karen Ellemann has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Chinese Minister for Water Resources, Chen Lei. The Sino-Danish agreement focuses on groundwater, water planning, and nature restoration.
“I had some very fruitful talks with Mr. Chen Lei and I look forward to our discussions on how to further develop the Sino-Danish cooperation. Danish expertise within water planning and nature protection is highly demanded and besides from contributing to the solution of China’s environmental challenges, this also gives new opportunities for Danish businesses in China,” says Karen Ellemann.
Shortage on water resources, water pollution, the increasing demand for water in both households and industry, plus the increased water consumption for food manufacturing will create many challenges for the Chinese water authorities in the years to come.
In Beijing, the Danish and Chinese Minister will discuss how to further develop the cooperation on protection of water resources. A number of Danish companies are market leaders on solutions for water supply, charting of water resources and other technologies to save water. Denmark already has a cooperation agreement with the Yangtze Commission, which is responsible for the planning and regulation of the water in the Yangtze River.
An area of high interest to the Chinese Ministry of Water Resources is Denmark’s protection of groundwater. Especially Northern China suffers from water shortage but at the same time has large deposits of groundwater. Pollution of groundwater and excessive consumption of water threatens sources of groundwater to become unusable or depleted.
“The unique Danish competencies in protection of groundwater and reduction of water consumption can turn out to be a very important contribution to the solution of the water supply challenges in Northern China”, Karen Ellemann says.