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10th International Rainwater Catchment Systems Conference
"Rainwater International 2001"
Mannheim, Germany - September 2001

Section 4: Rainwater Catchment in Agriculture

Paper 4.5

Calculation and Assessment for Developing Rainwater Resource Potential of a Small Watershed in the Loess Plateau of China

Feng Hao, Shao Mingan, Wu Pute
Institute of Soil and Water Conservation Chinese Academy of Science and Ministry of Water Resources
Northwest Sci-Tech University for Agriculture and Forestry
Yangling, Shaanxi


The Loess Plateau, located in northwest China, covers 6.9% of the country's area and holds 1.8% of the total water resources. It uses 3720 m3 water per ha and 654 m3 water per person per year, 14% and 24.1% of the country's total respectively. The West China Development Program is concerned about the limited water resources because they limit the development possibilities of its rich resources of coal, petroleum, natural gas, ore and rare metals and contribute to peoples' poor standard of living. A local proverb saying 'everything can be lent but water', demonstrate the Plateau's water problems.

In recent years, as a result of the tremendous achievement of providing drinking water for 1.2 million people and irrigating 300 thousand hectare of crops in China's Gansu Province, the engineering of rainwater utilization has received more attention. The purpose of rainwater utilization is not merely to make people collect and use rainwater. The more important aspect of rainwater utilization is that people begin to have a new understanding and acceptance of the traditional methods of water conservation. People recognized rainwater as a new type of water resource (Liu, 1998). In a certain region, rainwater is probably the only water resource (Ma et al., 1997). Compared to the conventional assessment method which only includes surface water and shallow ground water, we get different amounts according to the viewpoint of rainwater resources when analyzing and calculating water resources.

PDF of full document (4pp, 33kb)

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