China will focus on water quality, preserving the health of aquatic ecosystems, and protecting drinking water based on a draft Water Pollution Prevention Plan released by China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection in February, Bloomberg BNA reports. China Environmental News indicated that US$329 billion (2 trillion yuan) could be spent implementing measures to improve industrial and municipal wastewater pollution controls as well as protecting and conserving urban and rural drinking water sources. The draft plan has been passed to the State Council, and a final plan is expected within the year, though no timeline has been given.

China’s Ministry of Water Resources along with 10 other Chinese ministries also have devised an implementation strategy for water management measures released in 2012. The strategy requires water bureaus in the provinces to implement measures targeting water resource development and protection via efficient water use and pollution control. Strategies are based on pilots that already have been deployed in some regions. The Ministry of Water Resources also seeks to develop a national and regional water rights trading system. Further, the National Development and Reform Commission has announced a three-tiered progressive pricing system for urban residential water to be implemented by the close of 2015. Read more about how companies are responding to water compliance issues.