China plans to make the water use in agriculture more efficient with measures such as tiered pricing, wider use of drought-tolerant crops and rewards for water conservation. “Agriculture, which consumes vast amounts of water, is where the potential of water conservation lies. However, the price for water used in agriculture is been relatively low, which is not conducive to saving water,” according to a government guideline published by the State Council on Friday [29 January 2016]…Full Article: The Global Times Jan 2016

Key Point

  • China will reportedly experiment with different prices based on water usage. For instance, cash crop farmers and livestock companies would be charged a higher price based on their respective goods garnering higher values in the market place. Additionally, prices for groundwater may be higher than surface water if the former is in low supply.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In 2015, China needed 1 cubic meter of water to produce 1 kg of grain, which is below the average of 1.2 kg to 1.4 kg for developed nations.
  • In May 2015, China’s Ministry of Agriculture stated it hopes to limit the country’s water usage for irrigation to 372 billion cubic meters annually, while at the same time increase its coverage irrigation.
  • 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.
  • In January 2014, China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and its Housing and Urban-Rural Development Ministry announced plans to institute a tiered pricing structure for household water usage by the end of 2015. The first tier will kicks in once a household reaches 80% of average consumption while the second tier will be set to 95%.
  • In 2013, China had 63.4 million hectares of farm land under irrigation and utilized a total of 59.1 million MTs of fertilizers, of which nitrogenous and compound (i.e. NPK) were the most commonly used. Henan province was the largest consumer of chemical fertilizers and Heilongjiang province had the most land under irrigation.
  • In 2011, China had a total of 88,605 water reservoirs. Hubei province, home to the Three Gorges Dam, has approximately 14% of China’s total reservoir capacity. Guangdong and Hunan provinces each have 6% of China’s total reservoir capacity.

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