Economic Impacts on Farm Households Due to Water Reallocation in China's Chaobai Watershed (2009)

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Our study area in the Chaobai watershed, upstream of Miyun Reservoir, has been undergoing agricultural water transfers to downstream municipal uses in Beijing. We examine the impacts of water reallocation on crop production and farmers’ income and discuss issues relating to current compensation mechanisms. We use data from a survey of 349 farm households and their farm plots in the upper Chaobai watershed within Hebei province. Water reallocation from upstream to downstream areas has reduced agricultural water supply and the area irrigated. Regression results show that in plots deprived of irrigation, maize yields decrease by 21% and crop revenues decline by 32%. On average, losing irrigation on one hectare of cultivated land reduces net crop income by 2422 yuan. We examine compensation arrangements and social equity for the major policies implemented in the region and we identify gaps between current compensation levels and farmers’ income and production losses. The current compensation received by farmers is generally lower than the losses incurred due to reduced irrigation. A more appropriate compensation mechanism is called for in future water transfers.
Year: 2009
Language: English
In: Agricultural Water Management, 96 (5): 883-891 p.

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 Record created 2013-08-15, last modified 2013-08-15