Long-Term Plans for Water Resources

National Comprehensive Water Resources Plan(Water Plan)

National Comprehensive Water Resources Plan
It is essential that policies on water resources are implemented in a planned manner based on a long-term and comprehensive viewpoint. Therefore, in order to demonstrate long-term prospects of water supply and demand, and clarify the basic direction of water resources development, preservation and utilization, the Water Resources Department of MLIT has compiled the National Comprehensive Water Resources Plan. In the past, the Long-Term Water Supply and Demand Plan was compiled in 1978 and the National Comprehensive Water Resources Plan (Water Plan 2000), which adopted 2000 as the target year, was formulated in 1987, while the New National Comprehensive Water Resources Plan (Water Plan 21,) which adopted between 2010 and 2015 as rough target years, was compiled in June 1999.
Features of Water Plan 21
Basic Targets

In Water Plan 21, the following three basic targets have been raised for the "Establishment of Sound Hydrological Cycles" (See Page15):

  1. Establishment of sustainable water use systems
  2. Conservation and improvement of water environment
  3. Revival and fostering of water-related culture
For Establishment of Sustainable Water Use Systems

To enable stable use of safe water in each area or basin, a target level for stable water utilization is to be established, and thereby comprehensive measures to increase the amount of water that can be steadily supplied are to be promoted based upon regional consensus.

For Conservation and Improvement of Water Environment

In order to realize multilateral functions of water, to preserve water environment by securing "water for environmental use" and to maintain the quantity and quality of water supply by preserving and developing water sources including groundwater are to be promoted.

For Revival and Fostering of Water-related Culture

Along with the activities indicated above, efforts to create renewed awareness among the public about the relationship between humans and water and to invite more attention to the importance of water are to be made, while encouraging voluntary participation of the public in those activities, thus paving the way for public understanding and support concerning activities for preservation and improvement of water environment.

Prospects for Supply and Demand of Water

Conditions of rainfall are divided into three assumed scenarios, i.e. "normal year", "year of water shortage", and "driest year in the post-World War II period". The prospects for water supply and demand in between 2010 to 2015 as the target year are assessed, based on the three scenarios. Since no more sudden increases in water demand are now expected, providing that construction of all facilities, projected to be completed by 2015, advances on schedule, it is expected that stable water supply will become possible in normal years and years of water shortage.

Water Resources Development Basic Plan

In the Water Resources Development Promotion Law, the Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport designates as the "river system for water resources development" any river system for which it is necessary to implement wide area water supply measures, following the industrial development and increase in urban population, and is required to decide the "Water Resources Development Basic Plan" in each of such river systems for water resources development.
At present, seven river systems, namely the Tone River, Arakawa River, Toyokawa River, Kiso River, Yodogawa River, Yoshino River and Chikugo River, are designated as river systems for water resources development, and the "Water Resources Development Basic Plan" has been formulated for each of them. (With this in mind, in the case of the Tone River and Arakawa River only, a single plan has been formulated for these 2 river systems combined.) In each of these river systems for water resources development, the comprehensive development and rational use of water resources is being promoted, based on the respective water resources development basic plan.

In the Basic Plan, the following items are stated, which are changed as needed in consideration of changes in socioeconomic conditions and so forth.

  • Water demand forecasts and supply targets according to the purposes of use
  • Basic items relating to the construction of facilities required to achieve the supply targets
  • Other important items related to the comprehensive development of water resources and rationalization of water utilization

When the Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport determines (changes) the Basic Plan, the Minister consults with the Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry and other related heads of administrative agencies, listens to the opinions of the related prefectural governors and the National Land Development Council, and obtains the Cabinet decision in advance.

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