BEIJING, April 25 (Xinhua) -- Minister of Water Resources Chen Lei said Wednesday that the country's investment in water resources will reach 4 trillion yuan (634.8 billion U.S. dollars) by 2020.
Chen made the remark while delivering a report on the construction of irrigation and water conservation infrastructure at the bimonthly session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) on behalf of the State Council.
The investment should be further enhanced by establishing a growth mechanism with diversified funding channels that is mainly backed by public funds, Chen said.
At the beginning of 2011, the central government ordered local authorities to set aside 10 percent of revenues accrued from land sales for agricultural irrigation and water conservation.
A separate report from the ministry indicated that last year's total investment in water resources amounted to a record high of 345.2 billion yuan, 231.1 billion yuan of which came from local governments.
The annual average level was about 140 billion yuan during the 2006-2010 period, the report said.
China has vowed to invest 1.8 trillion yuan in water conservation projects during the 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-2015), with the central government contributing 800 billion yuan and local governments raising 1 trillion yuan.