Irrigation Science

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 49–60 | Cite as

Comparison of allocated irrigation water rights and irrigation water use under different precipitation probabilities: a case study in North China

  • Xiaoping DaiEmail author
  • Xiaohong Zhang
  • Yuping HanEmail author
  • Jing Chen
  • Huiping Huang
Original Paper


A comparison between gross irrigation water use (GIWU) in fields and allocated irrigation water rights amount (AIWA) is critical for evaluating any system of water rights allocation. GIWU in fields under different precipitation probabilities has been rarely calculated and compared with AIWA using households’ survey data. This study developed a method for calculating the GIWU of crops under different precipitation probabilities using field survey data from 391 households and the monitoring data of wells in Chengan County, China. AIWA was compared with the calculated GIWU and irrigation quota. Results showed that AIWA is too small to satisfy the GIWU of the principle crops. The GIWU of main cropping patterns under a precipitation probability of 75% was curtailed between 43 and 77% to fulfill AIWA. AIWA cannot support any cropping patterns when precipitation is lower than the precipitation percentile of 75%. In this condition, farmers are restricted to planting apples, cotton, and sweet potatoes. The uncertainty in precipitation was not fully considered, and the participation of farmers in water rights allocation in Chengan County was limited, which may adversely influence the income and food security of farmers.



The authors wish to acknowledge the support of the Plan for National Key R&D Program of China (Grant No. 2016YPC0401402), National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 51609082, 51709107), the ‘948’ Project of Ministry of Water Resources of China (Grant No. 201328), Scientific Innovation Talent of Henan Province in China (Grant No. 144100510014), the Program for the New Century Excellent Talents in University (Grant No. NCET-13-0794), the Program for Innovative Research Team (in Science and Technology) in University of Henan Province (Grant Nos. 15IRTSTHN030, 141RTSTHN028, and 17IRTSTHN026).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.North China University of Water Resources and Electric PowerZhengzhouChina
  2. 2.Collaborative Innovation Center of Water Resources Efficient Utilization and Support EngineeringZhengzhouChina
  3. 3.Henan Key Laboratory of Water-Saving AgricultureZhengzhouChina
  4. 4.Henan Key Laboratory of Water Environment Simulation and TreatmentZhengzhouChina
  5. 5.Hohai UniversityNanjingChina

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