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Water prices

The current price structure exhibits substantial variation across the country, and takes into account both scarcity and the ability to pay.’ 

‘Typically, for a specific end-use (agriculture, industry, domestic) in a specific province, prices are uniform, although there is flexibility for local exceptions. In terms of ability to pay, agricultural users pay lower prices than domestic users, who in turn pay less than industrial users.’ (Lohmar et al. 2003).

‘There is widespread agreement that water prices are too low in China, and well below the marginal benefit of water in all sectors including agriculture. Water prices will certainly increase for domestic and industrial users, but may not for agricultural users. Many policymakers believe that raising water prices for agricultural users is the only effective way to get farmers to implement sound water-saving measures. Others claim, however, that raising water prices for farmers will only further burden poor farmers facing low grain prices and, in many cases, high local taxes. This extra burden would directly counter another important policy goal in China: raising rural incomes and reversing a rising rural-urban income gap.’ (Lohmar et al. 2003)

(source: Wechsung, project proposal)

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