China has begun reorganizing and adding to its irrigation and water conservation facilities to facilitate a tiered pricing mechanism encouraging more economical water use by farmers.
"Some facilities have no anti-leak designs and in many cases irrigation water is not measured. All these need to be fixed before we bring in the tiered pricing mechanism," said Wang Aiguo, a senior official of the Ministry of Water Resources at a press conference Friday.
China's State Council approved a regulation on the construction and operation of irrigation facilities Wednesday. The text of the regulation has yet to be published.
Wang said China will establish a pricing mechanism that better reflects water costs with water prices higher for cash crops that yield high added value and for livestock breeding.
Water pricing will increase when water use passes a certain level. In regions where water use varies in different seasons, prices will reflect this, Wang added.
The government will reward entities and farmers that save water, said Wang.