To optimize the installation distribution of water-saving techniques and improve the efficiency of water-saving agricultural inputs, we used a three-stage data envelopment analysis (DEA) model and Chinese provincial panel data from 2014 to 2016 to analyze the input efficiency of the water-saving irrigation. This study explores the efficiency derived from the efforts of water-saving initiatives in the agricultural sector in China. We present the impacts of factors such as technology, scale, diminishing marginal revenue, and crop water requirements on the research results. We found overall efficiency of water-saving irrigation is increasing nationally. The efficiency of water-saving irrigation input will significantly increase if management and organization of the input improve. Increasing the investment in areas with increasing marginal revenue would improve the local agricultural water-saving input efficiency in areas such as Hainan, Chongqing, Guizhou, Tibet, and Qinghai; although in areas with large water requirement for major crops, such as Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang, the efficiency of water-saving irrigation is generally high. Shanxi requires a large amount of water as the efficiency of agricultural water-saving input is 0.07, which is relatively lower than the average efficiency of all regions (0.39). The cultivated area index and the GDP per capita had no significant effect on the irrigation input efficiency.
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