Resources Science ›› 2021, Vol. 43 ›› Issue (9): 1808-1820.doi: 10.18402/resci.2021.09.08

Previous Articles     Next Articles

Estimation, driving factors, and regional differences of agricultural irrigatioan water rebound effect in arid areas: Examples of five provinces in northwestern China

XU Hang(), LI Tao, SONG Jianfeng()   

  1. College of Economics and Management, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China
  • Received:2020-10-14 Revised:2021-05-26 Online:2021-09-25 Published:2021-11-25
  • Contact: SONG Jianfeng

Abstract:

In arid and semi-arid regions, the agricultural sector uses a lot of water, but the utilization rate is not high. Therefore, the development of water-saving irrigation has become a possible way to alleviate the scarcity of water resources. However, under the conditions of improved water-saving irrigation technology, if the actual water-saving effect fails to meet expectations, the “irrigation water rebound effect” will appear. Based on this situation, this paper theoretically constructs a method for measuring the irrigation water rebound effect, and then uses the LMDI method to decompose the irrigation water rebound effect into climate effect, unit yield effect, structural effect, area effect and irrigation effect. And, with the data of five northwestern provinces from 2005 to 2016, based on the calculation and decomposition of the effect, this paper analyses the driving factors and regional differences of agricultural irrigation water rebound effect in arid areas. The results show that: (1) The overall rebound effect in the northwest of China is as high as 340.00%, that is, the newly added water use has reached 3.4 times the expected water saving. Among them, the irrigation water rebound effects in Gansu, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi and Xinjiang are 374.97%, 55.10%, 117.46%, 434.51%, and 384.32%, respectively. (2) The increase in output per unit area and expansion of planting area are always the driving factors that promote the increase in the irrigation water rebound effect in the entire northwest or the provinces. (3) The increase in output per unit area is the main driving factor for increase in the overall irrigation water rebound effect in the northwest. However, there are still regional differences among the northwestern provinces. Among them, the main driving factors in Gansu, Ningxia, and Shaanxi are the increase in output per unit area, while the main driving factors in Qinghai and Xinjiang are the climate change and expansion of planting area, respectively. Based on these results, in order to avoid the agricultural irrigation water rebound effect in arid and semiarid regions, the overall strategy should not be to pursue the maximization of yield. Deficit irrigation should be appropriately adopted instead, and the scale of irrigated agriculture should be rationally planned. In terms of local strategies, regionalized policies should be adapted based on local conditions.

Key words: agriculture of arid area, irrigation water, water saving effect, rebound effect, northwestern China