Posted by: r.m. | May 20, 2009

water or food security?

“China should pay farmers to halt irrigation in the environmentally degraded far west despite long-standing concerns about food security, a senior government adviser has told the Guardian. After more than 50 years of converting desert to farmland, the expert says the water problems in Xinjiang are so acute that the vast region – bigger than two-thirds of the world’s nations – cannot develop further unless it pulls people off the fields and into cities.”


Responses

  1. Well,it is a must for the chinese authorities to handle the threatening water crisis in Xinjiang as soon as possible to preserve their water and maintain a land perfectly good for agriculture..but with this problem also comes the one of Famine,and providing food for the largest population on this planete.
    provinding the farmers with a more developed and efficient way for working on their farmland,preventing irrigation,would solve both problems .

  2. Chinesse farmers had used to consume all this quanities of water hundreds and hundreds years ago. And if the problem is only the huge consumption to agriculture, water sources would ceased years ago. I think there’s other problems that occured in the past 50 years that influenced the ease of water and the experts blamed only the farmers. One problem could be the increase in global temperature in the past 50 years and another one could be use of water in another new ways that influenced the natural stability of it. Paying to farmers could be one solution but its better to solve the cause of this problem rather than hiding behind the truth.

  3. This problem has huge implications on China, probably political ones too if they have to import water from other countries.
    Technically speaking, there are many approaches to use water efficiently, many of which are not used. However, in such a desert area where water is scarce, we need a lot of water to be able to meet the needs of any plant. Not to mention the fact that some plants being cultivated in China such as rice need ample amounts of water.
    So comparing the amount of resources being used, specially water, to the amount of biomass produced, we would see that this agricultural process is not effective.

  4. For centuries China stood as a leading civilization, outpacing the rest of the world in the arts and sciences.

    Despite the deterioration throughout the 19th and 20th century caused by civil wars and occupations, China could recover although a Communist régime ruled (focusing on market-oriented economic development that improved the living standards of the majority of the population and the room for personal choice has expanded).

    Today, when we look at the briefed history mentioned above, we can confirm that a nation of such capacities would stand still against any risk even if it is a severe drought that might affect agriculture, and reach to an extend of famine.
    Thinking loud and looking at the below statistics available on the net, we can say that by having a coastline of 14,500 km China can easily work on major projects of purifying the ocean water and use it for domestic and agricultural purposes… Not to mention that plenty of states available in the Gulf region are adapting this approach as they do not enjoy any water resources.

    The control over usage is something that Chinese would be capable to exercise effectively specially that they have tight controls that rules the day to day life of the entire population… If the government can do campaigns in regards of the number of kids you can give birth to, I have no doubts that they can control water consumption and the expansion of irrigated lands in an approach of having enough supply of food without wasting water.

    To cut the story short, I would love that all Lebanese look at the largest nation in the world striving for water and risking everything for it and we have unique resources that would constitute an enormous financial return to our country and all what we do is waste it and look at the enemies of our nation steel it and control it.

    Area:
    total: 9,596,960 sq km
    land: 9,326,410 sq km
    water: 270,550 sq km
    Coastline: 14,500 km

    Land use:
    arable land: 14.86%
    permanent crops: 1.27%
    other: 83.87%
    Irrigated land: 545,960 sq km

    Total renewable water resources:2,829.6 cu km
    Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):total: 549.76 cu km/yr (7%/26%/68%)
    per capita: 415 cu m/yr


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