Water Resources Management

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 377–396 | Cite as

Water Price Reforms in China: Policy-Making and Implementation

Article

Abstract

Following the conviction that economic and pricing approaches are an essential addition to conventional command-and-control environmental regulation, China has gradually increased attention to, research on and experiments with the application of economic instruments in urban water management over the past two decades. This paper analyzes the actual application and implementation of economic instruments in Chinese urban water sectors, applying an ecological modernization perspective. Water tariffs in China have increased sharply over this period, increasingly representing full costs and increasing water use efficiency. But implementation of water tariffs does run into problems of unclear responsibilities, poor collection rates and institutional capacities. It is concluded that Chinese style ecological modernization should pay more attention to the institutional dimensions of natural resource pricing policies, if it is to profit from the theoretical advantages of economic approaches in urban water management.

Keywords

Water pricing policies Urban water management Ecological modernization China 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Andersen MS, Massa I (2000) Ecological modernisation: origins, dilemmas, and future directions. J Environ Policy Plan 2:337–345Google Scholar
  2. Cheng XM (2005) An administrative reconsideration case and the effectiveness of the State Council policy documents. http://www.chinalaw.gov.cn (in Chinese)
  3. China Centre for Modernization Research (CCMR 2007) China Modernization Report 2007: Study on Ecological Modernization. Beijing: Beijing University PressGoogle Scholar
  4. Chinese Economic Times (2006) Dahua: collection of water resource fee encountering policy problems, January 11 of 2006. http://hwcc.com.cn/newsdisplay/newsdisplay.asp?Id=143070 (in Chinese)
  5. Christoff P (1999) Ecological modernisation, ecological modernities. Env Polit 5:476–500Google Scholar
  6. GOMOC (2005) Survey report on the cost of water supply companies of key cities (1999–2003). Survey and Information, No 13, March 25 of 2005 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  7. Guizhou Price Bureau (2004) Guizhou water tariff reform (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  8. He JY, Wu RH (2001) Theory of ecological modernization and current environmental decision-making of China. China Popul Resour Environ 11(4):17–20 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  9. He J, Chen XK, Yong S, Li AH (2007) Dynamic computable general equilibrium model and sensitivity analysis for shadow price of water resource in China. Water Resour Manag 21(9):1517–1533. doi:10.1007/s11269-006-9102-7 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Lieberthal K (2004) Governing China. From revolution through reform, 2nd edn. Norton, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  11. Liu WP, Wang GX, Guan EH, Jiang GB, Chen X (2003) A survey on collecting and managing water resource fee. China Water Resour (5):26–29 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  12. MOC (Ministry of Construction, PRC) (2005) Notice on the status quo of national urban wastewater treatment, 7 September 2005 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  13. Mol APJ (1995) The refinement of production: ecological modernization theory and the chemical industry. International Books, UtrechtGoogle Scholar
  14. Mol APJ (2000) The environmental movement in an age of ecological modernisation. Geoforum 31(1):45–56. doi:10.1016/S0016-7185(99)00043-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Mol APJ (2006) Environment and modernity in transitional China: frontiers of ecological modernisation. Dev Change 37(1):29–56. doi:10.1111/j.0012–155X.2006.00468.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Mol APJ, Spaargaren G (2000) Ecological modernization theory in debate: a review. Env Polit 91:17–50Google Scholar
  17. Mol APJ, Spaargaren G, Sonnenfeld DA (eds) (2009) The ecological modernization reader. Environmental reform in theory and practice. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  18. Montginoul M (2007) Analysing the diversity of water pricing structures: the case of France. Water Resour Manag 21(5):861–871. doi:10.1007/s11269-006-9104-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. MOWR (2005) 2005 Water conservancy statistics yearbook. http://www.chinawater.net.cn/cwsnet/CWSArticle_View.asp?CWSNewsID=26851 (in Chinese)
  20. OECD (1999) Pricing of water services: an update. OECD, ParisGoogle Scholar
  21. Renzetti S (1999) Municipal water supply and sewage treatment: costs, prices, and distortions. Can J Econ 32(3):688–704. doi:10.2307/136444 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Rogers P, de Silva R, Bhatia R (2002) Water is an economic good: how to use prices to promote equity, efficiency, and sustainability. Water Policy 4:1–17. doi:10.1016/S1366-7017(02)00004-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. SDRC and MOC (2003) Survey report on the industrialization and marketization reform of wastewater treatment and solid waste disposal in China (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  24. Seroa Da Motta R, Thomas A, Hazin LS, Feres JG, Nauges C, Hazin AS (2004) Economic instruments for water management: the cases of France, Mexico and Brazil. Elgar, MassachusettsGoogle Scholar
  25. Sonnenfeld DA, Mol APJ (2002) Globalization and the transformation of environmental governance: an introduction. Am Behav Sci 45(9):1318–1339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Spaargaren G (2000) Ecological modernization theory and domestic consumption. J Environ Policy Plan 2(1):323–335Google Scholar
  27. Tatenhove J, Arts B, Leroy P (eds) (2000) Political modernisation and the environment: the renewal of environmental policy arrangements. Kluwer, DordrechtGoogle Scholar
  28. UNCED (1992) Agenda 21, United Nations Conference on Environment & DevelopmentGoogle Scholar
  29. USEPA (Environmental Protection Administration of US) (2004) International experiences with economic incentives for protecting the environment. USEPA, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  30. van Vliet B (2002) Green the grid: the ecological modernization of network-bound systems. PhD thesis, Wageningen University, WageningenGoogle Scholar
  31. Wang Y (1999) The status quo and reform strategies of water price in China. In: Proceeding of international workshop on 21st century Chinese urban water management, organized by the MOC and UNDP, Beijing, 1999Google Scholar
  32. Winpenny J (1994) Managing water as an economic resource. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  33. Wu WJ (2001) Study on measurements and institutions for pricing water. MSc thesis, Hohai University, Nanjing (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  34. Zhang L (2002) Ecologizing industrialization in Chinese small towns. PhD thesis, Wageningen University, WageningenGoogle Scholar
  35. Zhang L, Mol APJ, Sonnenfeld DA (2007) The interpretation of ecological modernization in China. Env Polit 16(4):659–668CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Zhong L, Mol APJ (2008) Participatory environmental governance in China: public hearings on urban water tariff setting. J Environ Manag 88(4):899–913CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Zhong L, Mol APJ, Fu T (2008) Public-private partnerships in China’s urban water sector. Environ Manage 41:863–877CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental Science and EngineeringTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Environmental Policy Group, Department of Social SciencesWageningen UniversityWageningenThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations