China’s water watchdog promised on Sept 29 [2014] to make a priority of water conservation in agriculture — the country’s largest water-consuming industry. Li Guoying, vice-minister of water resources, said at a news conference in Beijing that with the nation’s growing population and increasing demand to its biosystem, water scarcity has become a barrier to the country’s rapid economic development…Full Article: China Daily Sept 2014

Key Points

  • According to China’s Vice-Minister of Water Resources, the country’s agriculture sector utilizes 340 billion cubic meters of water annually, or roughly 55% of China’s yearly water consumption.
  • At the beginning of 2014, China had 63.5 million hectares of land under irrigation and hopes to have 66.7 million ha by 2020. Of the 63.5 million ha, approximately 27 million ha (~42.5%) was utilizing water-saving equipment/facilities.

ChinaAg Comment

  • From 1978 to 2011, Chinese land under irrigation rose by 37% (44.9 million to 61.16 million ha). This increase in irrigated land has been steady, rising an average 1% annually since 2000. In 2010, Chinese land under irrigation surpassed 60 million hectares for the first time ever.  According to the FAO, China has an irrigation potential of 70 million hectares.

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