Last Updated : 08 February 2023.
China’s total freshwater resources are the fourth largest in the world. There are 45,203 rivers in China. Of these, the Yangtze River, Yellow River, Pearl River, Songhua River, Huai River, Hai River, and Liao River constitute the seven major river basins. There are also numerous lakes, covering a total area of about 78,000 km2. The five largest freshwater lakes are Boyang Lake, Dongting Lake, Taihu Lake, Hongze Lake, and Chao Lake, all located around the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River.
State of water environment
Basic Environmental Law
- Environmental Protection Law (in Chinese)
The law is to protect and improve the environment, preventing and controlling pollution and other public hazards, safeguarding public health, promoting the construction of ecological civilization, and promoting sustainable economic and social development.
Law specific to pollution control
- Water Pollution Prevention and Control Law
The law is to prevent and control water pollution, protect and improve the environment, ensure the safety of drinking water, and promote a comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable economic and social development.
- Marine Environmental Protection Law (in Chinese)
The law is to protect and improve the marine environment, protecting marine resources, preventing and controlling pollution damage, maintaining ecological balance, safeguarding human health, and promoting sustainable economic and social development.
- Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Water Pollution (in Chinese)
The action plan is formulated to effectively strengthen the prevention and control of water pollution and ensure national water security.
Institutional Arrangement of water
Water quality standards
Technical standards and related information
Technical guideline for the development of water pollutant discharge standards in watersheds (in Chinese)
Technical guideline for deriving water quality criteria for freshwater organisms (in Chinese)
Water quality—Determination of pH—Electrode method(in Chinese)
Technical guideline for deriving nutrient criteria for lakes(in Chinese)
Technical Guideline for Deriving Water Quality Criteria for the Protection of Human Health(in Chinese)