Yellow River protection efforts bolstered
A folk opera troupe performs on the bank of the Yellow River in Weinan, Shaanxi province. [Zou Jingyi/Xinhua]
Xu Anbiao, a member of the NPC Standing Committee, said there is a serious shortage of water resources in the Yellow River Basin.
There is not enough water for use in the provinces and regions through which the river flows, Xu said.
The new law includes measures to conserve water in the Yellow River Basin while enhancing the management of water consumption quotas and the price of water.
The legislation makes it compulsory for governments at county level and above to take into account the overall water demand for economic and social development, and to draw up water consumption quotas for sectors such as agriculture and industry.
The law imposes strict limits on directing additional water resources from the river to irrigate farmland. It stipulates that authorities at county level and above should promote water-efficient agriculture, strengthen construction of facilities to conserve water and meter water consumption, and cultivate drought-resistant crops to reduce the amount of water used for agriculture.
Ways to save water are being explored in Dezhou, Shandong province, a major agricultural base that needs to divert water from the Yellow River to irrigate the city's farmland.
In Pingyuan county, Dezhou, an agricultural cooperative that runs more than 1,330 hectares of farmland uses a data sharing cloud platform and automatic irrigation facilities to help water this land.
Data on the condition of crops, soil, temperature and humidity are collected and transmitted to the cloud platform through sensors installed in the fields. Farmers use this information to decide the best time to water crops, and the amount of water they need.
He Shibao, an agricultural technician at the cooperative, said, "With the water-efficient facilities, we need no more than 20 cubic meters of water for each mu (0.067 hectares), but when we used a traditional irrigation system, each mu of farmland needed at least 60 cubic meters of water."
The new law urges local authorities to tap the potential of sewage by using water-saving technology, other equipment and materials to meet water consumption demand. Reclaimed water should be the first choice to meet demands for landscaping, afforestation, production and construction, the law states.