Helping Chinese Farmers Use Water More Efficiently

A World Bank-supported water conservation project integrates agricultural and management aspects, not just technical measures, to address water use and to help change farmers’ behaviors in the provinces of Hebei, Shanxi and Ningxia in China.

***

TRANSCRIPT:

A World Bank-supported Project Helps Chinese Farmers Use Water More Efficiently

0:03
Chang Mingqi, Chief Engineer, China Irrigation and Drainage Development Center
Water scarcity is a major constraint to China’s social, economic and environmental development. Agriculture accounts for about 60% of total water use in China. There is great potential to raise irrigation efficiency. Our traditional approach was to use less water. But the World Bank focuses on achieving more efficient water use and increasing farmers’ incomes, and protecting the environment. We have set up farmers’ water users associations that has raised farmers’ awareness on saving water and addressed the “last mile” issues in water management, water fee collection, and particularly in irrigation systems maintenance.

00:51
Youngzhai Village Water Users Association, Guantao County, Hebei
It is irrigation time again. According to the association’s plan, we will discuss how to arrange the order of irrigation. To be fair, let us draw lots to decide who will go first. No.1 is for those households in the west part of the village; No.2 for those in the east part; No.3 for those in the south part.

01:12
Zhao Jiangang, Head of Youzhai Village Water Users Association
It is indeed easier. It used to be messy. People argued and fought. Nobody wanted to give in. After we formed the water users association, such things do not happen anymore.

01:28
Wang Weirong, Villager of Youzhai
In the past, when we watered crops, we had to carry pipes to the field and make long furrows. Two or three households worked together and we flooded the fields. It was very wasteful. It is a waste of not only labor and water but also resources.

01:39
Zhao Jiangang, Head of Youzhai Village Water Users Association
Our irrigation management system contains information of all water users in the village, such as the size of the farm fields and the amount of water allocated.

01:52
Wang Weirong, Villager of Youzhai
A water right certificate and an IC card are all that I need. When I want to water crops, I just swipe the IC card and water will come. I just need to wait in the field and move the pipe. It takes little work, and saves more than 10 yuan (.50) for a mu (0.16 acre) of crops.

02:09
Jin Jianbo, Senior Engineer, Hebei Water Technology Experiemental & Extension Center
This data terminal is part of the World Bank-supported Water Conservation Project. It transmits data such as the amount of water applied to the crops, soil moisture content and weather data to the data center. The data center generates irrigation scheduling and water requirements and publishes the information on the LED screen to guide farmers to irrigate more efficiently.

02:32
Wang Weirong, Villager of Youzhai
We used to water crops without knowing soil moisture content. Now I look at the soil moisture forecast, and water crops according to actual water requirement. It saves money and labor.

02:42
Wang Weizhen, Villager of Youzhai
Now everybody understands the need to save water. Not only should we save water but our children should also know how.

02:54
Wang Weirong, Villager of Youzhai
Villagers all know water resources are scarce. We should save water for our future generations. This project has conserved water resources and achieved the goal of real water savings.

Helping Chinese Farmers Use Water More Efficiently

About The Author
-

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>