Today is World Water Day [22 March 2014], a day that coincides with spring in many parts of the world. Here in China, spring irrigation is a vital part of the agricultural year, when crops need large amounts of water, following the dry winter. CCTV reporter Xia Ruixue has been to central China’s Henan province to see how farmers there are hoping to modernize their irrigation methods, to get the maximum from every drop of water…Full Article: CCTV Mar 2014

Key point

  • The article notes that water supplies from the Yellow River, which runs through Henan Province, has become more and more erratic every year

ChinaAg Comments

  • In 2011, Henan province led China with 5.1 million hectares of land under irrigation, or roughly 8% of total irrigated land. Shandong and Hebei provinces followed suit with 4.9 million and 4.5 million hectares under irrigation. Heilongjiang province had 4.3 million hectares under irrigation (7% of China’s irrigated land). All remaining provinces and regions had under 4 million hectares of land under irrigation.
  • The Yellow River or Huang He is the second-longest river in China after the Yangtze and the 6th longest in the world. The Yellow River is also known as “China’s Sorrow,” because the soils which have fostered human development are also associated with frequent, sometimes catastrophic, floods. Agriculture is by far the largest user of water, accounting for 80% of the total withdrawal, with industrial, urban and rural domestic sectors sharing the remaining 20%.

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