Fujian located in the south eastern coast of China is characterized by subtropical monsoon climate with abundant water resources, but uneven distribution. Irrigation infrastructure, particularly in the rural areas, is crucial for local economic development. Agriculture sector relies heavily on the water resource.
Due to its incomplete water management systems and regimes, plus the ineffective management and maintenance of the basic water infrastructures, the existing water facilities do not satisfy the current development.
Since the reform policy started from 1992, series of policies were reformed in Fujian Province of China in small scale water infrastructures construction. These reforms include also changes in agriculture water management and the encouragement of farmers to contribute to more effective use of water without compromising their agriculture yields.
In recent years, the irrigation infrastructure department of Fujian provinces actively has cooperated with local farmer water management agencies and organizations to explore the innovative participatory management system and explore the new mechanism of local water management.
The main reason was to achieve more effective water use for agricultural production. In order to do so, new regimes of water use and water fees were proposed to farmers that constituted farmers association.
The community participation in irrigation water resource management proved to be suitable for small scale farms. It still needs to be tested in medium and large agriculture schemes.
Importance of the case for IWRM
This case indicates that the direct involvement of water users will result in rational use of water resources. IWRM approaches were applied in the rural communities.
Photo credit: P. Feiereisen