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“Water Feeding Water” – A New Type of Water Supply Association in Rural China


  • Ylva Monschein


State involvement in public service functions in Chinese rural areas has steadily decreased in the wake of reforms and the development of the private sector. A prominent example of this is the field of rural water supply facilities, where the life expectancy of a vast range of technical schemes failed to be more than a few years in most cases. At the same time, the bottleneck of dwindling water resources has become a major challenge. The experience of a foreign-assisted development aid project in Shandong province demonstrates an alternative grass-roots approach to the regulatory framework, which is normally provided in a top-down fashion by policies. The experimental establishment of the first rural water association in one township marked the beginning of a spin-off development creating similar associations in other townships in several other counties and culminated in the establishment of the first county-wide organisations. This innovation is now on the verge of serving as a model on a much wider regional scale. The paper analyses the long processes of implementation and their implications for economically efficient and ecologically sound water management in rural China.

Suggested Citation

  • Ylva Monschein, 2007. "“Water Feeding Water” – A New Type of Water Supply Association in Rural China," Journal of Current Chinese Affairs - China aktuell, Institute of Asian Studies, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 36(6), pages 99-116.
  • Handle: RePEc:gig:chaktu:v:36:y:2007:i:6:p:99-116

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