, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 216–218 | Cite as

Mindset Change Needed for China’s Water Crisis

  • Lishan Ran
  • Xixi Lu
  • Xiankun Yang

Water-related crisis in China has become increasingly frequent and severe in recent years. Astonished by recent extreme weather events, the Chinese government has focused this year’s No. 1 Document on water problems (Yu 2011; Gong 2011). Although it is still not clear how the funds (US$ 615 × 109) will be spent, most of it is expected to be directed to water engineering according to past experiences. Particularly, quite a large portion will go to large-scale projects as they usually represent great political achievements for promotion. However, lessons from past failures tell us that dam building cannot solve the water problems; instead an integrated strategy involving mindset change must be sought for sustainable water use.

Induced by the Chairman Mao’s idea that man can triumph over nature, policy-makers believed that the water problems could be addressed through massive water engineering projects. Since the 1950s, China has invested a large amount of money and labor into dam...


Water Crisis Water Transfer Project Water Diversion Project Xinhua News Agency Sanmenxia Reservoir 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This study was financially supported by a grant from National University of Singapore (Grant: MOE2011-T2-1-101).


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Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

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