Production, Water Savings, and a Heroic History on China’s State-owned Farms

By Keith Schneider

Both sectors are the region’s largest water users. Both are also at significant risk of collapse, because climate change is steadily reducing levels of rain and snowfall and draining freshwater reserves. The map below shows water allocations for the Basin’s nine provinces.

By 2020, without significant water conservation initiatives — and as China’s demand for energy and food increases — we at Circle of Blue, along with the China Environment Forum, concluded that there would be a damaging gap in the Basin’s available freshwater supply amounting to 20 billion cubic meters (5.3 trillion gallons). In other words, farmers and energy producers will be 20 billion cubic meters short of the water they need to operate.