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Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15029-15056; doi:10.3390/su71115029

Drought Adaptation in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, China: Actions, Planning, Pathways and Barriers

1
State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Sciences, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 73000, China
2
Key Laboratory of Eco-hydrology of Inland River Basin, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Arjen Y. Hoekstra
Received: 2 June 2015 / Revised: 20 October 2015 / Accepted: 3 November 2015 / Published: 12 November 2015
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Abstract

The Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region (NX region) of Northwestern China is threatened by increased meteorological drought induced by climate change (CC) and constraints on water supply from the Yellow River. Thus, the NX region is representative of attempts to adapt to CC and variability in China’s arid regions. Field visits, a questionnaire and in situ inspections were conducted in 2012–2014 to understand people’s perception and awareness of drought and its impact, particularly with respect to adaptation strategies. We mainly focused on drought adaptation actions and planning implemented at the government level under the double pressures of drought and allocation. We described a suitable adaptation pathway for socio-economic sustainable development and discussed existing adaptation barriers. Construction of modern efficient water-saving agriculture lies at the core of drought adaptation, with socio-economic sustainable development being the ultimate goal. To achieve this, policies and institutional, engineering, technological, structural and social initiatives and measures—classified into macro adaptation strategies and specific coping measures—are implemented. Adaptation often encounters obstacles, e.g., policy issues from household contract responsibility systems, funding difficulties of low-income farmers, traditional behavioral habits and low education and literacy levels among farmers. The adaptation pathway involves the construction of modern efficient water-saving agriculture. Agricultural water savings are then transferred to developed industries, which back-feed socio-economic sustainable development in the NX region. View Full-Text
Keywords: drought; adaptation actions and planning; adaptation barriers; adaptation pathway; Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region of China drought; adaptation actions and planning; adaptation barriers; adaptation pathway; Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region of China
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Yang, J.; Tan, C.; Wang, S.; Wang, S.; Yang, Y.; Chen, H. Drought Adaptation in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, China: Actions, Planning, Pathways and Barriers. Sustainability 2015, 7, 15029-15056.

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