The Results of Overpumping

From Zhengxin:

In a problem that is pervasive in much of China, over-farming has drawn down the water table so low that desert is overtaking farmland. Authorities have ordered farmers here in Gansu province to vacate their properties over the next 3 1/2 years, and will replace 20 villages with newly planted grass in a final effort to halt the advance of the Tengger and Badain Jaran deserts.

“I don’t want to move,” said Chen Ying, 58, sitting in a sparsely furnished bedroom dominated by a red, wall-sized poster of Mao, the communist founding father who sought to catapult Chinese farming and industry into modernity with the so-called Great Leap Forward.

“But if we keep using the groundwater, it will decline,” said Chen. “We have to think about the next generation.”


  1. Or Ft Morgan, for that matter. Except the folk in Ft Morgan area don’t talk about the consequences of their livelihoods on future generations, at least in the conversations I hear.

    I’m reading reports about plans for transfering ag water to M&I and cities, but we also don’t talk about how we’re going to mitigate the transfers.



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