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A Constitutional Study on Integrated Water Management and Preservation

  • Public Land Law Review
  • Abbr : KPLLR
  • 2018, 84(), pp.257-279
  • Publisher : Korean Public Land Law Association
  • Research Area : Social Science > Law
  • Received : October 31, 2018
  • Accepted : November 22, 2018

Kim, Sang-Kyum 1 서 정 윤 1

1동국대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Water which constitutes two-thirds of the earth's surface is an essential resource for human survival. According to the UN, Korea is one of the countries going through water shortages, which means that the water resource is not being managed in an efficient way. The government has established policies in various dimensions to address water scarcity, including those for preserving the environment for water. Korea has so far continued to improve laws and regulations manage and use water as a resource. Water as a resource is composed of surface water and ground water, and to manage stream water that composes most of surface water, the River Law has been continuously amended. Furthermore, the Law on Water Environment Preservation was enacted for the integrated management of water environment. Water management is critical, because it is not only used for drinking, but in agriculture and manufacturing industry. Despite this importance, water management in Korea has not been systematic. Considering the whole process of rain becoming surface and underground water, then flowing into the sea through the river, and then evaporating into the air for rain again, integrated water management becomes essential. Countries like Germany and Japan introduced an integrated water management system by amending the Water Circulation Act. Korea has embarked on similar legislation, but the lack of coordination between competing government agencies has not led to a full-fledged legislation of an integrated water management law. However in May 2018, the bill of Water Management Basic Act passed the National Assembly. As a result, The Committee on Water Management was established under the auspices of Ministry of Environment which now is mainly in charge of the water management issue. With the introduction of Water Management Basic Act, integrated water management began to have legal basis, but authorities to manage water resources related to stream water still partially remains at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. This might hinder the systematic management of water from the viewpoint of water circulation and environment. An amendment of the Law sooner than later for a more integrative legislation is therefore called for.

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