Professor Mark Wang1
1University Of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia
The recently introduced River Chief system is expected to fix the so-called “nine dragons ruling the waters” issue, a reference to the tangle of diffuse and unclear responsibilities for managing different aspects of China’s environment and policies. Over 760,000 village level river chiefs and another 300,000 at the township, county and provincial levels have been named river chiefs. This is perhaps the world’s largest water manager group. Can they dramatically improve the quality and integrity of China’s water resources? Using the Hongze Lake region as a case study, this paper seeks to discuss how this new system works, and what are the opportunities for and challenges to China’s effective water governance.
Professor Mark Wang is a human geographer whose interests include urbanisation in East Asia, and development and environmental issues in China.