National Water Museum of China, Hangzhou, China

National Water Museum of China, Hangzhou, China

The National Water Museum of China(NWMC)is a national museum guided by the Ministry of Water Resources of the People’s Republic of China, which is co-managed by the Ministry of Water Resources and Zhejiang Provincial Government. The establishment of the museum was authorized by the State Council. And the museum was officially open to the public on March 22nd, 2010.

NWMC is located in Hangzhou City, south bank of Qiantang River, about 180 kilometers southwest to Shanghai, with a construction area of over 36,000 square meters. The main building of the museum adopts the shape of pagoda. The pagoda structure satisfies the museum’s purpose of storing precious artifacts as well as represents people’s aspiration of keeping rivers under control through its symbolic meaning of expelling water devils. Appreciated from afar, the building is like a crystal pagoda floating on the water. Hangzhou is the capital city of Zhejiang Province, renowned for its long history as well as numerous scenic spots such as the beautiful West Lake,the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal and the grand Qiantang River Tide. the museum has retained an ecological park covering an area of 150 hectares and a primordial lake area of 50 hectares.

NWMC actively pushes forward its role in displaying the magnificent history of Chinese Water Management and the diffusion of water-saving ideas through educational activities and research programs. The exhibition is divided into Water and Human Civilizations, the Glorious History of Chinese Water Management, the Dragon Brings about Abundant Rain (Rain-praying) together with an outdoor exhibition on Sacred Artifacts in Water Worship. The Exhibition of Water and Human Civilizations demonstrates the complicated and inseparable relationship between water and human civilizations from a global perspective. The Exhibition of the Glorious History of Chinese Water Management fully displays the 5000 years of water control history as well as achievements made in water management during the long run. The Exhibition of the Dragon Brings about Abundant Rain (Rain-praying) is placed at the top of the pagoda structure. The Dragon has long been worshiped as a sacred animal by the Chinese people because they believe it can bring about rain, hence the name of the exhibition. The exhibition is centered on a huge seal with a dragon sculpture on the top of it.

NWMC sees as its responsibility to advocate traditional water culture and modern water technologies. By constructing a Spirit Dam and Thought Reservoir in people’s inner heart, we hope to achieve harmony between human and water.

Museum website:


River Canal Lake Ocean Itinerary

This itinerary is designed to broaden students’ vision on the grand waters of China by integrating four kinds of water forms, namely: river, canal, lake and ocean. Starting from the National Water Museum of China which is located at the riverside of the Qiantang River (the mother river of Zhejiang Province in East China), visitors can appreciate the river at the top floor of the museum which is about 120 meters high. Then students visit the West Lake and the Grand Canal (both are listed in UNESCO Cultural Sites) to appreciate the natural beauty as well as the technical feast. Then students visit the Canal Museum which showcases the history and culture of this great man-made transportation artery. And then students take the coach bus (about 2 hours) to the City of Ningbo to visit the Ningbo Port and the Port Museum. Ningbo is an important trading port in the ancient Maritime Silk Road.

Water Culture Itinerary

Yu the Great successfully curbed a flood which plagued the Chinese nation for ages, after his success, he began to rule China, thus started the dynastic rule. Therefore he was regarded as the forefather of Chinese Nation. After his death, he was buried in the City of Shaoxing. This route first visit Great Yu’s Mausoleum and pay tribute to the Great Yu and visit the famous scenic spot-Mirror Lake. The water of the Mirror Lake is so clear that one can look in the lake for a vivid reflection of one’s own. This Lake was also an ancient water project. The City of Shaoxing is a typical water town in Southern China with creeks flow zigzag around the villages.

Qiantang Tidal Bore Route

The extraordinary surging tide of the Qiantang River is a world-renowned natural wonder caused by the gravitational pull of the stars and planets. The funnel shape of Hangzhou Bay makes it easy for the tide to come in, but difficult for it to ebb. The soaring tide can rise up to a height of 30 feet. The Best place to watch the tide is the ancient city of Yanguan which is 40 minutes ride from Hangzhou. And visitors can also visit the Temple of the Sea God which enshrined the sea god.


Water ABCs

This activity is designed to educate the teenagers on the chemical and physical properties of water by introducing a popular science video and instruct them to do a water-filtering experiment. The procedure of the activity is as follows:

a) First visit the National Water Museum of China to know the history and achievement of Chinese water management;

b) Watch a popular science video about the properties of water;

c) Compete in a water-related knowledge quiz;

d) Share knowledge on water-saving knacks.

Water and Little Kids

This activity aims at facilitate water-saving and recycling consciousness among primary students by lectures and experiments:

a) Science teachers give primary students a lecture on basic knowledge about water resources;

b) Science teacher teach the pupils to do a water-filtering experiments.

We are Seawall Experts

Guide the students to travel through an imaginary time machine to go back to ancient dynasties to see how ancient people built the seawalls to defend the river bank. By comparing the different building skills and materials, students become little seawall experts.

a) visit the seawall models in the museum and get a rough idea on why a seawall is so important;

b) mini-lecture provides a virtual travel to different dynasties to see how the ancient people built the seawalls;

c) Hands-on experiment: students use the blocks to build a seawall model and they will hold a competition to see whose model is the hardest one by colliding one with another;

d) visit the Qiantang River to see the real seawalls with their own eyes and let them feel the grandeur of the Qiantang River.

Investigation on the Water Culture Heritage

The National Water Museum of China has carried out an investigation on the water culture heritages, with its focus on the immovable and intangible cultural heritages.

Restoration of Ancient Water Machines & Facilities

The National Water Museum of China has carried out a project to restore the long-lost ancient water machines and tools that had been once used in people’s daily life and in ancient river embankment and dam constructions.