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Water management, policies and legislation related to water use in agriculture
Water resources development and management in Japan are conducted byvarious institutions. The National Land Agency is responsible for the overall planning andcoordination concerning land and water. The agency formulates water resources development plans in cooperation with other relevant governmental organizations.
The Ministry of Construction administers affairs concerning river conservation as stipulated by the River Law. It implements flood control, erosion control and river retention for Class A rivers. It is also in charge of the construction and management of multipurpose dams.
Public water services are supervised by the Ministry of Health and Welfare. Industrial water and hydropower generation are supervised by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry.
The Environment Agency is responsible for setting standards for water quality and for carrying out water pollution control.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is responsible for irrigation and drainage. In accordance with Japan's Basic Agricultural Law, the Ministry prepares long-term prospects for agricultural demand and production to direct its policies in each area of agriculture. The Ministry formulates a fundamental policy or long-term plan for land improvement based on the Land Improvement Law, setting specific goals every ten years and the amount of investment for farmland improvement. Individual projectsstated in the plan are carried out in accordance with an agricultural and rural development programme which covers a wide range of developments such as irrigation and drainage, farmland consolidation, disaster prevention, reclamation of agricultural land,improvement of rural water supply and sewage in rural communities. Its activities include the planning and execution of national projects as stated by the rules and regulations of the Land Improvement Law, and supervising subsidized projects.
The main body responsible for the implementation of an irrigation project (which may be the central government, a prefectural government or an LID) is determined by the scale of the project defined according to the area involved. In a typical case, the central government takes responsibility where the beneficiary area is more than 3 000 ha of paddy field; the local government where more than 200 ha are involved; and LIDs for schemes of more than 20 ha. Construction projects operated by central and local government are limited to the canal sections that command at least 500 and 100 ha respectively. To complete an entire irrigation system in a project area, these three entities work together in an integrated manner in accordance with their responsibilities.