BEIJING – China’s Ministry of Finance has allocated 57.4 billion yuan ($8.88 billion) to subsidize local water conservancy projects in 2021, up 3.1 percent from the previous year.

The funds aim to help resolve weak links in water conservancies in rural areas.

To reduce damages caused by floods and droughts, 45 percent of the funds, or 25.9 billion yuan, will be used to reinforce small dilapidated reservoirs, harness small and medium-sized rivers, and enhance the prevention of mountain torrents.

Better efforts will be made to control over extraction of groundwater in northern China.

The funds are expected to raise water use efficiency and upgrade water-conservation facilities in medium-sized irrigation areas, while soil erosion and drinking water safety in rural China will also be addressed.