Officials Praise Cabbie's Plan for China's Water

Chinese officials say a Beijing cab driver’s proposal on how to increase natural rainfall in north China is on the right track.

Environmental officials solicited public proposals on what went wrong with China’s once-abundant water supply. Liu Zhenxiang’s theory, which says is borne out by science, is that a lack of groundwater means not enough water evaporates to bring rain.

China’s reservoirs are a recipe for disaster, he argues, because they trap water rather than letting it flow naturally in rivers.

Not only have residents over-exploited their groundwater, Liu said, but planners have been controlling it with destructive artificial river canals and wetlands have been lost to development.

According to, officials took well to Liu’s solution, which involves holding more surface water through reforestation and the construction of wetlands and pools on rural farmland.

Elsewhere in China, rural communities have flourished as towns replaced straight channels with meandering rivers and created overflow lakes in the wet season, leading to increased agriculture and commerce.


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