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THE EFFICIENCY OF INSTITUTIONS REGULATING AGRICULTURAL WATER USE – THE CASE OF THE HAIRIVER BASIN IN CHINA

IWRA World Water Congress 2003 Madrid Spain
IWRA WWC2003 - default topic
Author(s): Bettina BLÜMLING
Hong YANG and Claudia PAHL-WOSTL

Bettina BLÜMLING1, Hong YANG2 and Claudia PAHL-WOSTL1
1 Institute of Environmental Systems Research; Albrechtstraße 28, 49076 Osnabrück, Germany
2 Swiss Federal Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (EAWAG), Dübendorf, Switzerland


Article:

Abstract

Agriculture is the sector with the highest water demand all over the world. In 1995 it accounted for 69 % of the global water withdrawal (FAO 2002: 2). Still, in many regions it competes with industrialization. Due to the rapid economic development in the Hai-River Basin, which is examined in this research project, an enormous transfer of water resources has taken place. In 1980, 80.5 % of the overall water use was allocated to agriculture, whereas in 2000 only 58.5 % were assigned to agriculture. The rest went to the industrial and domestic sectors (Crook: 184). At the same time, as “[t]he importance of irrigation as a means of crop production has been recognized in China for centuries” (Bramall 2000: 133) and “China looks set to maintain more than 93% self-sufficiency even after 2005” (Rabobank 2002: 27), it is likely that irrigated agriculture in the water scarce Northern China will continue in future, especially due to the region’s traditional importance as a producer of roughly half of China’s grain, and therefore location of more than 65 % of China’s cultivated land (Lohmar et al. 2003: 3). Nonetheless, conditions are rather disadvantageous in Northern China: 85 percent of the annual rainfall falls between June and September. In 2000, most of Northern China and part of Southern China suffered a severe drought, which hit 29 provinces and autonomous regions, destroyed one million hectares of farmland, and caused 300,000 tons in lost grain (PECC 2001: 20)... 

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