Water saving technology and saving water in China

Book Title: NA
Year Published: 2007
Month Published: JAN 24
Author: Blanke, Amelia ; Rozelle, Scott ; Lohmar, Bryan ; Wang, Jinxia ; Huang, Jikun
Book Group Author: NA

Rapid expansion of irrigated agricultural and increasing urban demands for water have important implications for the economy of China, especially for the agricultural sectoring the northern part of the nation. In response to the water crisis, China's government has begun in recent years to invest in research on techniques to save water in the agricultural sector, although there is a debate about the extent of success in adoption by farmers. Top policy makers have publicly stated they would allocate billions of dollars in funding if they knew it would succeed in saving water. Unfortunately, there has been relatively little research in China on the economics of water saving technology and there is almost no systematic information on the extent to which the technologies have been adopted, if they are appearing to save water, and the characteristics of the communities that have been adopting them. Our goal is to sketch a picture of the state of water saving technology in northern China to increase awareness of past trends and current status. In simplest terms, we seek to establish a set of first order facts about the role that water saving technology has been playing in China's agricultural sector. We pursue three specific objectives: (1) to illustrate progress in adoption over the past two decades, (2) to identify the characteristics of technologies that have been most successful and those that have not, and (3) to explain factors that might be promoting water saving technology and factors that might be holding back adoption. We find that, although water saving technologies have expanded rapidly in recent years-especially those that can be adopted by individual households (as opposed to those that require the collective action of an entire community), there is still considerable room for water saving technology to be expanded. (c) 2006 Published by Elsevier B.V.

Pages: 139-150
Volume: 87
Number: 2
Journal ISO: Agric. Water Manage.
Organization: NA
ISSN: 0378-3774
DOI: 10.1016/j.agwat.2006.06.025

irrigation; adoption; determinants; households; communities

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