In October, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang issued a decree on urban drainage and wastewater treatment that will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2014. The decree is an effort to curb flooding and decrease water pollution, a situation the ministry said remains grave.

The decree will apply to governments above the county level and requires separate storm and sewer systems in new city areas. The decree promotes rainwater harvesting as well as water reuse. In terms of funding, private investment is encouraged, but the Chinese government has also increased its allocation from 300 billion yuan (US $49.23 billion) to 500 billion yuan (US $81.94 billion) between 2011 and 2015.

The decree requires economic and social development planning to include wastewater facilities and urban drainage systems that account for local conditions, including climate and geography. Further, governments must enact an early warning system for urban flooding.