China Working on Tiered Agricultural Water Pricing
Workers are checking the operation status of water saving irrigation facilities in a vineyard in Wuwei, Gansu province. Gansu has invested more than 22 million in water saving facilities construction in 2015. Image: gansu.gscn.com
China has begun to reorganize and improve its irrigation and water conservation facilities to promote a tiered water pricing mechanism encouraging more economical water use by farmers.
Wang Aiguo, a senior official from the Ministry of Water Resources, addressed that China would establish a water pricing mechanism that could better reflect water costs with water prices higher for cash crops that yield high added value and for livestock breeding.
"Some facilities have no anti-leak designs and in many cases irrigation water is not measured. All these need to be fixed before we bring in the tiered pricing mechanism," said Wang, at a press conference held by China's State Council Information Office.
China's State Council has approved a draft plan on irrigation and water conservancy in the recent executive meeting held on April 27.
Mini sprinklers are used to irrigate a tea garden in Yingpanshan, Yunnan. Image: cache.baiducontent.com
According to the draft, Chinese government will offer regulations on the construction and operation of irrigation and water conservancy, farmland irrigation and drainage. Private capital is encouraged to take part, but government shall make clear legal obligations for negligence or malpractice in irrigation and water conservancy.
According to Wang, the new pricing mechanism will reflect the variation of water using in different seasons in certain regions and water price will increase when water use passes a certain level".
The government will reward entities and farmers that save water in irrigation, Wang added.