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This special issue contains an introduction and 6 papers providing insights on how agricultural water policy, both taken alone and treated within the larger policy context of China, which could address the challenges and issues with appropriate options. The paper following the introduction provide the context for understanding China's water resources and water resource utilization, describing China as a divided territory when it comes to water resources. Also, it outlines the shift in water use away from agriculture, which is the major transformation now occurring in the agricultural sector. The third paper present insights into how institutional arrangements impact agricultural water use on the ground and, when not well coordinated, could result in the problems regarding inefficiencies in agricultural water use. Two irrigation districts were compared showing that water conservation technologies and investments in infrastructure have been widely adopted. The fourth paper discusses that uniform irrigation pricing reform in China is not likely to meet an efficient irrigation use and revenue generation due to lack of infrastructure and the ability of farmers to substitute system-provided surface water with self-provided groundwater. The next paper explains the importance of the role of groundwater in the success of water policy reform, in one of the first comprehensive examinations of groundwater in Chinese agriculture. In the sixth paper, the North China Plain is used as a case study and an outline on how agriculture and rapidly growing urban and industrial use are in direct competition, is also presented. Lastly, the seventh paper use modeling to provide a look at China's agricultural and water future, examining the possible impacts of a major new user of water in China, i.e., the environment. Emphasis is given of the impacts of increased environmental water use on food demand and food production, food trade and prices, and water availability for other sectors in China and globally.
resource management, water allocation, water management,water policy, water resources, water security, water supply, water use,China, East Asia, Asia, Developing Countries, water resource management,water supplies, Natural Resource Economics (EE115) (New March 2000),Policy and Planning (EE120), Water Resources (PP200)