China's Hollow Villages Undergo a Transformation

As an agricultural engineering professor, I was excited to visit and tour the farm village Houbali, in southwestern Shandong Province. I found myself standing among newly constructed high-rise buildings, a vastly different community than I had expected to encounter. A bicycle repair shop was setting up alongside other bustling businesses in the first-floor storefronts. 

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  1. Capturing Greenhouse Gases in China's Countryside

    Jun 11, 2020

    China has more than 40 million anaerobic digesters collecting animal and human waste for conversion to methane.  Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas having 25 times more impact than carbon dioxide.  By comparison, only 254 agricultual digesters have been constucted in the US.

  2. Household Water Use

    May 27, 2020

    Just published a new fact sheet on household water use.  The good news is water use per person is going down, thanks to new low-water using fixtures.  Read more about Household Water Use.

  3. China Increasing Agricultural Production on a Sea of Plastic

    May 8, 2020

    Ninety percent of the world's plastic greenhouses, covering 3.3 million hectares. China is also the world leader in the use of plastic mulch, over 2 million tons. Agricultural plastics are dirty making them difficult to recycle. To learn more, read the article in the New Security Beat.

  4. Willingness to upgrade septic systems

    Apr 8, 2020

    The cover story of the January/February issue of Journal of Environmental Health features OSU research on Water Quality Trading and rural homeowners' willingness to upgrade their septic systems to reduce nutrient discharge to Lake Erie.  This surprising finding points out an additional way to reduce non-point source pollution.  

    Guo, YT, K. Mancl, and R. Moore. 2020. Water quality trading mechanisms enhances willingness to upgrade rural household septic systems in the western Lake Erie basin, northwest Ohio. Journal of Environmental Health. 82(6):8-15.

  5. Capturing Greehouse Gases in China's Countryside

    Mar 9, 2020

    Karen Mancl was one of the featured speakers at Rural Climate Action in the US and China event at the Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington DC.  The March 6 event was webcast and is available for viewing.  Dr. Mancl's presentation starts at 1:07 as she was the 4th speaker at the 2-hour event.  Link to the event at:

  6. Pig Disease is Creating a Mountainous Solid Waste Problem

    Feb 28, 2020

     In August of 2018, the Chinese were raising 500

  7. Shock Chlorination of Wells

    Jun 20, 2019

    New fact sheet posted on sanitizing wells.  If a water test reveals a well is contaminated with bacteria, a series of actions are needed to protect the health of the family and visitors to the home.

    Link to fact sheet

  8. Emergency Disinfection of Drinking Water

    May 31, 2019

    Storms, floods, and water line breaks can all cause disruptions in drinking water supply. Camping and hiking spots in remote areas may have unsanitary water supplies. Most importantly, traveling outside the United States poses a risk to travelers, since water treatment is not as reliable in other countries.

    Link to fact sheet

  9. Wastewater Treatment in Rural China

    May 13, 2019

    Not Too Big—Not Too Small—Just Right: Sand Bioreactor Wastewater Treatment in Chinese Villages

  10. Reclaiming China’s Worn-out Farmland: Don’t Treat Soil Like Dirt

    May 2, 2019

    China’s food security is rooted in its soil.  Sadly, more than 40 percent of China’s soil is degraded from overuse, erosion, and pollution.  Continue reading