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Water 2013, 5(2), 643-658; doi:10.3390/w5020643
Article

Evolution of Water Management in Shanxi and Shaanxi Provinces since the Ming and Qing Dynasties of China

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Received: 26 March 2013; in revised form: 22 May 2013 / Accepted: 26 May 2013 / Published: 4 June 2013
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Abstract: This article examines some of the forms of water management in Shanxi [山西] and Shaanxi [陕西] provinces during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Facing serious water shortages and shrinking state power for water management, the local society in Shanxi and Shaanxi took over water management and gradually formed a local self-government system for the water resources. Depending on water management organizations in which the local gentry were the core power, the water rules were based on natural topographic conditions, historical water practices in the locality, traditional moral-ethical ideas, and even water policies and water laws. This water management system played a positive role in mobilizing the participation of members, preventing opportunistic behavior such as free riding and rent seeking, while decreasing the probability of water conflicts and the costs of litigation. However, this water management system was also subject to endemic corruption because of the lack of effective monitoring from the local government. As similar problems appear to exist in China today, this article analyzes the features of this water management system, and examines the problems that faced those systems so as to provide a warning from history for modern society.
Keywords: water management; local self-government; Shanxi; Shaanxi; Ming and Qing dynasties water management; local self-government; Shanxi; Shaanxi; Ming and Qing dynasties
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.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Dang, X.; Webber, M.; Chen, D.; Wang, M.Y. Evolution of Water Management in Shanxi and Shaanxi Provinces since the Ming and Qing Dynasties of China. Water 2013, 5, 643-658.

AMA Style

Dang X, Webber M, Chen D, Wang MY. Evolution of Water Management in Shanxi and Shaanxi Provinces since the Ming and Qing Dynasties of China. Water. 2013; 5(2):643-658.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Dang, Xiaohong; Webber, Michael; Chen, Dan; Wang, Mark Y. 2013. "Evolution of Water Management in Shanxi and Shaanxi Provinces since the Ming and Qing Dynasties of China." Water 5, no. 2: 643-658.


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