Yellow River Conservancy Commission PDP
Background on the YRCC
The Yellow River Conservancy Commission (YRCC) is one of seven commissions of the Ministry of Water Resources in China. As the first international group to participate in the ICE WaRM Professional Development programme, 18 professionals from YRCC were in Adelaide for a period of eleven months. A smaller group from YRCC had visited UniSA in 2004, and the second visit builds on that experience.
The Yellow River is the second largest river in China, flows through nine provinces and has a total length of 5,464 km and a total basin area of 795,000 km2. The total population within the basin is 107 million and there is a total of 12 million ha of cultivated land.
The development of appropriate flood control strategies, amelioration of pollution and ensuring a secure supply of water of sufficient quality and quantity for irrigation, industrial and urban supply are the main aims guiding the development of the Yellow River.
With the rapid growth of population and development of industry and agricultural production, wastewater has often been fed directly back into the river without treatment. Over time, this has resulted in a reduction in water quality which, in turn, has created to more pressure on water supplies.
New measures have been gradually introduced to address these issues, including the promotion and practicing of soil and water conservation measures that have achieved notable economic, social and environmental benefits.
Professional Development Programme Overview
The new delegation undertook post-graduate studies through UniSA in conjunction with other ICE WaRM partners. They also undertook an industry placement during their stay and used it as an opportunity to observe Australian innovations in water management practices and to develop knowledge and skills that may be adapted when they return to China.
The fields of placement included: hydrographic modeling; water sampling and data analysis; a non-government organization (NGO) that preserves the Murray Darling Basin; State Government environment authority; State Government research and development (water and irrigation Sector); irrigation management and development; management of salinity in the River Murray; natural resources management; Victorian state water authority; South Australian state water authority; and an Australia-wide research organisation.
Prior to commencing the Industry Placement, the group was provided with an overview of Australian workplace culture and norms, including expectations, language and attire, as well as being provided with detailed information on the organisation, instructions on how to travel to and from work and the names and contact details of their supervisors.
The benefits of these Industry Placements include substantial increase in use of, and confidence with, English language and gaining a hands-on experience in Australian workplace culture.
The Industry Placements were very well-regarded and enjoyed and also provided an excellent break from structured coursework.
In addition to the formal education activities of the Professional Development Programme, the YRCC group were regularly invited to a range of extra-curricular educational and social events, all of which helped to further develop their English language skills.