Water Forum 2011: Rural Development and Alleviation of Water Poverty

The Amity Foundation

Good morning everyone, I am going to share with you about rural development and alleviation of water poverty. Water is vital in our daily life. Without water, there is no health care, education, or any other kinds of social activities. There are 7 billion people on earth now. It could be predicted that in 2050, the population will reach 9 billion. How could we survive with such limited water resources?

Water problems are serious in China. In rural area, small-scale peasant economy is implemented. It wastes a lot of water. Geographically, China has precipitous topography, and always has climate and geological disasters. The four main water problems in China are water shortage, water loss and soil erosion, flood and water pollution.

The Amity Foundation has conducted a research on the effects of water supply system built in rural area, and its sustainability. The investigation was conducted in 2009, in 6 villages in Guang Xi and Gui Zhou province. 136 households were interviewed.

Firstly, this research studied the effects of water supply system on the health of local residents. It could be seen in the diagram that before the water supply system, diarrhea always happened in the villages. But after, this situation was improved.

Secondly, we studied the economic effects the water supply system had brought to villages. It is found that after the water supply system was built up, residents have extra time to do framing and other economic activities. The family income has also increased. Besides, since they do not have to fight for water, the community becomes more harmonious.

To summarize, because of the provision of water, there is less discrimination to those villages. With more spare time, residents could watch TV, feed livestock and do other economic activities to increase their income. For women, they have higher participation in village issues.

Since we also pay attention to the sustainability of water supply system, we studied this aspect as well. Large proportion of households is satisfied with the current water supply system, and its maintenance and operation. Most of them think they will pay more for upgrading the water supply system if necessary. Majority of the residents know people in water management committee, and think their suggestions are considered by the water management committee.

Regarding the transparency of water supply service, the research result is also positive. Every household has their water meter, and recorded independently. Every season, the report will be realized to residents.

After the investigation, we found that the biggest water problem for rural area is water shortage. Besides, water pollution and the operation and maintenance of water supply system are also vital problems. The Amity Foundation will continue this project, and try to find out ways to prevent and resolve the water pollution in China. We also do educations in schools to make students have deeper understanding about water problems in China. Thank you!




Documenting/文字記錄: Emma Wu, Lilian Hou