The Tai and Chao Lake basins are currently facing a serious water pollution crisis associated with the absence of an effective environmental governance system. The water pollution and the water governance system of the two basins will be compared. The reasons for water pollution in both basins are similar, namely the weak current water environmental governance system cannot deal with the consequences of the rapidly growing economy. China’s water governance system is a complicated combination of basin management with both departmental management and regional management. There is an absence of legal support and sound coordination mechanisms, resulting in fragmented management practices in the existing water environmental governance system. A comparison is made for the Tai and Chao Lake basins and Canada, France, the United Kingdom and the United States. Based on China’s present central-local governance structure and departmental system, an integrated reform of basin level and water environmental governance in China should learn from international experiences. The reforms could consist of improved governance structures, rebuilding authoritative and powerful agencies for basin management, strengthening the organizational structure of the basin administrations, improving legislation and regulatory systems for basin management and enhancing public participation mechanisms.

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This project is supported by the Major project of National Social Sciences Fund of China (Grant No.12&ZD214). In particular, we are thankful to the Tai Lake Basin Authority and the Chao Lake Administration Bureau for providing us with essential information. 10.4236/jwarp.2015.710067,
International Journal of Water Resource and Protection
International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)

Qiu, L., van Dijk, M. P., & Wang, H. (2015). Water pollution and environmental governance systems of the Tai and Chao Lake Basins in China in an international perspective. International Journal of Water Resource and Protection, 7, 830–842. doi:DOI 10.4236/jwarp.2015.710067