Industrial Parks (IPs) have played a major role as growth engines for the local economy in the 30-year economic transition in China. IPs contributed significantly to national GDP, employment, exports and attraction of foreign investment. However, due to rapid industrial expansion and development density, IPs have also faced increasing resource constraints and serious issues of environmental degradation. Water security and water pollution challenges are top of the list of many Industrial Park managers and local governments.
In Tianjin in one of China’s largest Economic and Development Zones, TEDA in partnership with Water Stewardship Australia (WSA) and the local authority is now rolling out a long-term project using the AWS International Water Stewardship Standard to fundamentally change the way that water is understood, used and disposed by industries, institutions and communities.
The AWS Standard sets out a new roadmap for water users to understand their own water use, catchment context and shared concerns in terms of water governance, water balance, water quality and Important Water-Related Areas, then engage in meaningful individual and collective actions that benefit people and nature. In TEDA, the project will mainly focus on 3 tasks: 1) adopt AWS Water Stewardship at Industrial Park management committee level, 2) launch a long-term AWS certification and recognition scheme in TEDA, and 3) develop necessary infrastructure and mechanisms to support the AWS framework, such as a data system and communication platform.
As a major step to enhance water management and motivate major water users to make positive changes, individually and collectively, in reducing water consumption and minimizing water pollution, TEDA will demonstrate again its leadership in Eco-Industrial Park development in China with a complete set of programs covering Water, Solid Waste, and Energy (Carbon).
This project is kindly supported by the Australia Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Australian Water Partnership. The experience from this demonstration is expected to be shared with more industrial parks in China as well as those in other Countries across the Indo-Pacific Region.