Groundwater in the North China Plain, where half of the country’s grain is produced, is heavily overexploited. Water tables have dropped over, at least, the last three decades, with rates of decline up to 1 m per year. China is actively addressing its groundwater depletion problems, e.g., through water permits and a water resource tax, a sponge city approach to urban areas, smart card machines for abstracting groundwater for irrigation, inter-basin water transfers to replenish depleted aquifers, and a program to tackle groundwater pollution called the National Plan on Groundwater Pollution Prevention and Control, issued in 2011.
A recent project aimed at curtailing further groundwater depletion in the North China Plain was piloted in Guantao County (Hebei Province).
The project entitled ‘Rehabilitation and management strategy for over-pumped aquifers under a changing climate’ is a Sino-Swiss research project initiated in 2014 by Prof. emeritus Dr. Wolfgang Kinzelbach, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zűrich, and Dr. Haijing Wang, hydrosolutions Ltd., and funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
The overall goal of this project is to test and implement groundwater management and water-saving policies, in order to strengthen adaptation capacity to climate variability and climate change. This is done through the implementation of a real-time system to monitor groundwater storage and abstraction, and for groundwater modelling and controlling feedback to farmers. The key notion is to explore the potential and application of modern scientific knowledge and technology, as well as agricultural adaptation practices and economic incentives in the field of water resources management. This is done in collaboration with farmers and water user associations, research and policy advisory institutes and water experts, and local and national authorities.
The present webinar lecture series, which take place over six days (December 08-10 and 14-16, 2020, at 10:00 -12:00 CET on all days), draw on findings and outcomes of the project, while also tapping into the knowledge of experts with a background in groundwater use in agriculture in China.
The lecturers of the webinar include:
- Prof. emeritus Wolfgang Kinzelbach, ETH Zűrich
- Prof. Jinxia Wang, School of Advanced Agricultural Sciences, China Center for Agricultural Policy (CCAP), Peking University
- Dr. Lu Wang, ETH Zűrich
- Dr. Silvan Ragettli, hydrosolutions Ltd.
- Dr. Ning Li, ETH Zűrich
- Dr. Beatrice Marti, hydrosolutions Ltd.
- Dr. Yu Li, ETH Zűrich