Empowering Farmers and Implementing Modern Irrigation Helps China Reduce Water Consumption
China is a water-stressed country: per capita water resources are about a quarter of the global average, or 2,100 cubic meters. This scarcity is more severe when the spatial distribution of water sources, the total population and arable land, are taken into account, and the increasing impact of climate change compounds the problem. Irrigated agriculture, as an essential source of rural employment and livelihoods for over half of the population, uses over 60% of the nation’s total water resources; more than any other activity. To ensure sustainable use of the limited water resources, making more efficient use of water in agriculture is critical for China.
Between 2012 and 2016, the World Bank worked with China to implement the Water Conservation Project II in Hebei, Shanxi and Ningxia, the three most water-scarce provinces in the Northern region.