Agricultural groundwater issues in North China: A case study from Zhengzhou municipal area

R. Sun, Y. Liu, Y. Qian, Karen G. Villholth

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in bookResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Zhengzhou Municipal Area is a water-short region in north China. Irrigated agriculture mainly relies on groundwater, but development of groundwater has caused a series of environmental problems, such as groundwater table decline and groundwater pollution. The objective of this paper is to present the groundwater resources conditions, its socio-economic impacts and the policy-institutional options in Zhengzhou. Based on field surveys of 22 villages in Xinmi County and Xingyang County in Zhengzhou, the results indicate that water shortage has impacted the development of agriculture and the living standard of the farmers. Deep tubewells are replacing open dugwells and shallow tubewells in most villages, which has increased the cost of irrigation and had a negative impact on the income of the farmers. The ownership of tubewells was mainly collective. The high cost of drilling deep tubewells and lack of demand for buying water has limited the development of individual tubewells and water markets. Advanced water saving technologies have been adopted by only a few villages and water use efficiency in irrigation is low. Farmers have little incentive to adopt advanced water saving technologies because of high cost, small and fragmented landholdings, and low profitability of farming. Specific and practical laws, regulations and policies on groundwater management are lacking.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGroundwater governance in the Indo-Gangetic and Yellow River Basins: Realities and challenges
EditorsAditi Mukherji, Karen G. Villholth, Bharat R. Sharma, Jinxia Wang
Place of PublicationLondon, United Kingdom
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-203-87447-9
ISBN (Print)978-1-135-22004-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009

Publication series

NameInternational Association of Hydrogeologists Selected Papers

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 2: Water Resources


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