China poured in a record amount of nearly 1.2 trillion yuan (about $169 billion) in investment in building water conservancy projects in 2023, aiming to expand the national water supply networks.
The investment was been directed to 27,900 new water conservancy projects in 2023, up 11.5 percent year on year, according to data released by the Ministry of Water Resources on Thursday. Water conservancy construction projects provided approximately 2.74 million jobs last year, an increase of 8.9 percent from 2022.
The amount of the investment passed the one trillion-yuan ($139.6 billion) threshold in 2022, and continued to climb steadily last year.
Funding has been viewed as a "choke point" in water conservancy projects as they often require massive investment and long construction periods in order to serve public interests instead of profitable purposes.
Liu Xiangwei, director of the ministry's planning department, said at the conference that the record high investment comes from three sources: government spending, financial institutions and private input.
According to Liu, the investment was used to support projects to better manage floods, build the national water network, improve hydrological infrastructure, and restore river and lake ecosystems, among others.