The Water Entitlements and Trading (WET) project is a joint initiative of the Australian Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPAC), and Chinese Ministry of Water Resources (MWR), arising from a 2003 Memorandum of Understanding.
WET Phase 1 was conducted during 2006 by a team of Australian and Chinese water experts. The project involved:
- Reviewing current approaches to allocating and managing water rights and to water trading across China. As part of this review, investigations were undertaken in all major river basins across the country;
- Developing a whole-of-country framework to support a water rights system; and
- Preparing implementation plans for the framework for two pilot river basins, one in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and one in Zhejiang Province.
The WET framework has been designed to:
- Ensure rights to water are clearly defined, as part of an integrated and transparent water allocation system;
- Provide a greater level of certainty and security for water users;
- Allow for a shift towards market-based allocations of water; and
- Ensure water allocations are within the ecological limits of the river or aquifer.
The framework focuses on water right at three levels:
- Regional water rights (the allocation of water rights between provinces, prefectures and counties);
- Permit-level water rights (rights to abstract water from a water source); and
- Certificate-level rights (rights to a share of water within an irrigation district).
Work undertaken during Phase 1 has been further developed during Phase 2 of the WET project.
The WET Phase 1 Final Report is available in English in the following sections:
- Executive Summary, Introduction, the WET Framework, Implementation Plans, and a summary of water rights development in China [pages i-100] (PDF - 1009 KB)
- Detailed reports on the development of water rights and trading in different provinces and basins [pages 101-185] (PDF - 754 KB)
- Overview of water entitlements and trading in Queensland [pages 186-222] (PDF - 2380 KB)
- Policy Papers and Recommendations [pages 223-399] (PDF - 5190 KB)
The WET Phase 1 Final Report is also available in Chinese and English as an entire document:
For further information please contact SEWPAC, or the Australian Water Entitlements and Trading Project team leader at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For up-to-date information about the Water for the Future initiative.