China works for more efficient water use in agriculture

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016-1-31 9:51:01

China plans to make the water use in agriculture more efficient with measures such as tiered pricing, wider use of drought-tolerant crops and rewards for water conservation.

"Agriculture, which consumes vast amounts of water, is where the potential of water conservation lies. However, the price for water used in agriculture is been relatively low, which is not conducive to saving water," according to a government guideline published by the State Council on Friday.

To ensure the sustainable development of agriculture, within the decade China will establish a pricing mechanism that appropriately reflects the cost of water and encourages water saving, according to the guideline, which added that regions better equipped with irrigation and water conservation facilities should achieve the goal within three to five years.

Agriculture is a significant issue for the world's most populous nation. On Wednesday, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council released this year's "Number One Central Document," marking the 13th consecutive year that the document has focused on agriculture and rural issues.

The document is the first policy statement of the year, and seen as an indicator of policy priorities

Upholding an innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development concept, the authorities on Wednesday called for faster transformation of agricultural models.

Policies and support will protect resources and raise efficiency, preventing resources from over-exploitation, according to the document. It added that China will improve water resource management and groundwater will be closely watched.

China will explore tiered prices for different water use, according to the guideline. Water prices will be higher for cash crops that yield high added value and for livestock breeding. In regions where groundwater has been overexploited, the price of groundwater will be higher than that of surface water.

Tiered pricing will increase the price when water use passes a certain level. In regions where water use varies in different seasons, water prices will reflect this.

The State Council advised local governments to reduce the areas of crops with high water consumption and promote the planting of drought-tolerant crops if the underground and surface water in the region has been overexploited. It also highlighted the use of pipe irrigation and drip irrigation to conserve water.

The government will reward entities that save water and adjust the crops they choose to plant, according to the guideline.

The government will also encourage private investment to contribute to the building and maintenance of irrigation and water conservation facilities through business models such as public-private-partnerships, the guideline said.

Posted in: Industries

blog comments powered by Disqus