Biodiversity / Food / Water

July 22, 2006


Ministry Issues Criteria on Use of River Water for 'Environmental Purposes'

Keywords: Government Policy / Systems Water 

As a way of preserving the natural environment and maintaining human living conditions, the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport has established criteria for permitting the supply of river water to channels and canals for "environmental purposes." The criteria were notified to concerned authorities of prefectures nationwide on March 20, 2006.

River water is an essential resource for daily use by citizens and industry, and is used for irrigation, power generation, municipal water and many other purposes. Due to the importance of river water, exclusive rights to use this water are regulated by laws in Japan. Meanwhile, in recent years there has been a growing awareness of the importance of supplying river water to local dry channels or other water passages, to make the passages cleaner and more accessible, conserve the habitats of plants and animals, and preserve historic cultural assets.

The announcement of new criteria is intended to encourage the central and prefectural governments in charge of river management to permit other entities, such as municipalities and citizens' organizations, to draw a certain amount of water from rivers, if they establish regional development plans that incorporate the restoration of the aquatic environment.

Initiatives to introduce "environmental water" are expected to help local areas restore clean streams in ways that are tailored to each community's circumstances.

Posted: 2006/07/22 10:29:08 AM
Japanese version