BEIJING — China’s investment in water conservancy facilities totaled 195.8 billion yuan (about 29 billion U.S. dollars) in the first four months of 2022, jumping 45.5 percent year on year, data from the Ministry of Water Resources showed on Thursday.

According to the ministry’s targets, construction on a total of 30 new major water conservancy projects will start this year, and investment in water conservancy construction will hit 800 billion yuan.

Major water conservancy projects usually face difficulties in advancing preliminary work as the process involves multiple departments. The projects also encounter fundraising pressure, which means they rely mainly on government investment.

To address these difficulties, the ministry and relevant departments have established communication mechanisms to discuss issues on the preliminary work of projects. They have also endeavored to increase financing channels such as special-purpose bonds for local governments, financial capital and social capital while striving to enhance central government fiscal support.

From January to April, construction began on nine major water conservancy projects. Some 72 billion yuan worth of special-purpose bonds for local governments were earmarked for water conservancy projects, up 115 percent from the same period a year ago, the ministry said.

Originally published by Xinhua