GWP Provincial Water Partnerships in Fujian, Hebei, Hunan and Shaanxi are key players in implementing two rural development policies – The Water Saving Society and The New Countryside Development.
Farmers, shown the value of using IWRM tools by their water users associations, manage rural development around water resources. This integrated approach improves supplies of safe drinking water, and water for irrigation, sanitation, the environment and energy.
In Fujian Province, the Department of Water Resources is encouraging water user organisations to take an IWRM approach. As advocated by GWP China Fujian, the Department, instead of just improving water supplies, has switched to increasing productivity per unit of water, increasing production per unit area and increasing awareness of the links between land, water and the environment. The Department of Water Resources has also forged links with other departments, such as health and livestock.
The aim is to raise production to give farmers better livelihoods. By December 2009, 2,376 water users associations organised by GWP China Fujian were managing 3,160,000 mu (210,670 hectares) of irrigated farmland.