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National Collaborative Innovation Initiative of “Saving Water for Sustaining Grain Production in North China” Kicks Off

Source: Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development in Agriculture

A new collaborative innovation initiative of “Saving Water for Sustaining Grain Production in North China” was launched by CAAS on June 18, 2015. The initiative, led by the Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development in Agriculture (IEDA) of CAAS, is the third regional collaborative innovation initiative following the “Synthetic Prevention and Control of Heavy Metal in Southern Paddy Field” and “Protection of Black Soil in Northeast China” implemented by CAAS.


 
Since the 1980s, North China has witnessed over exploitation of groundwater, resulting in rapid decrease in groundwater level, continuous expansion of groundwater funnel and a series of ecological environmental problems such as land subsidence, ground fracture, saline intrusion and wetland reduction.

“Solutions for water crisis in North China should be a synergy of technological, economical and social measures. As the only national-level agricultural research institute in China, CAAS has privilege to launch this new initiative and encourage cross institutional and cross-sector cooperation in order to realize sustainable agricultural development in North China,” said Prof. Chen Mengshan, Secretary of Leading Party Group of CAAS in the kick-off meeting. “To address the complex issue of water crisis in North China, the initiative set multiple objectives which combines increasing using efficiency of rainfall and in the irrigation with the pollution control and protection of underground water,” he added.

This initiative will involve over 260 researchers from 55 agricultural scientific research institutes in Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shandong and Henan. It is envisioned to provide feasible and applicable technological modes and scientific decision-making supports for ensuring sustainable and efficient use of water resources, reducing the groundwater exploration and improving the staple crop water productivity.

More than 140 representatives from Ministry of Agriculture, National Agro-Tech Extension and Service Center (NATESC), China Agricultural University, related CAAS institutes, as well as agricultural research institutes in Hebei, Beijing, Shandong, Henan and Tianjin attended the kick-off meeting.

 
By Liu Yukun
liuyukun@caas.cn