China begins spring irrigation efforts on World Water Day

Insight

Tuesday is United Nations World Water Day, and it’s also when spring irrigation starts in many parts of China. In Central China’s Henan province, the local government is helping farmers modernize their irrigation methods, to get the most out of every drop of water.

CCTV’s Xia Riuxue reports from Henan Province.

China begins spring irrigation efforts on World Water Day

Tuesday is United Nations World Water Day, and it's also when spring irrigation starts in many parts of China. In Central China's Henan province, the local government is helping farmers modernize their irrigation methods, to get the most out of every drop of water.

Henan is China’s most populous province. It’s known for its huge agricultural output. The Yellow River runs through the province, but water supplies are becoming more erratic every year.

Water resources are just 27 percent of the global average and is unevenly distributed. Water shortages and contamination in China have also become widespread in recent years as industrialization and urbanization continues.

In 2013, the province launched a water-saving irrigation project, adopting multiple modernized irrigation methods on over 3,000 hectares (7,413 acres) of farmland in Xuchang City.

In China agriculture consumes a vast amount of ground and surface water. But modernizing irrigation practices can help to lower the water demand, while still boosting crop yields.

China’s “Number One Central Document” released in January outlines the country’s plans to make water use in agriculture more efficient with measures such as tiered pricing, wider use of drought-tolerant crops, and rewards for water conservation.