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N China Drought: Another Mega Disaster Looming

Posted by feww on January 25, 2011

Worst drought in 60 years hits northern China

2 million people and 60 million hectares of crops running out of water

Most of China’s wheat-growing areas in the north have been scorched by droughts since last October. The provinces of Henan, Shanxi, Hebei, Shandong and Jiangsu , as well as Xuchang in central China’s Henan Province haven’t seen a drop of rain for three months.

“East China’s Qingdao in Shandong Province is also being hit hard by drought.  Tap water there dried up 2 months ago, residents now have to carry water from a local river,” a report said.

The land is parched, crops are withering.

Beijing has seen no rain for 92 days, and is about to break a 60-year record for the latest first snowfall, the People’s Daily said.

“Water levels are continuing to fall and the depleted Miyun reservoir is threatening to turn the taps off for 17 million residents and access to drinking water. Experts forecast that Beijing will not see any rain until February,” the report added.

Winter wheat crops in about a fifth of northern China’s wheat-growing areas have been severely affected by drought, while forecasters see no early end to the dry spell.

Meanwhile, freezing rain and heavy snow are wreaking havoc across large parts of southern china, affecting crops.

More icy rain and heavy snow is forecast  for large areas of southwest China, as a cold snap approaches, the People’s Daily said.

Time to Exhaust the Yellow River

Beijing is experiencing its 12th year of an ongoing drought, as a result of which the water tables have dropped sharply, according to a report, citing  the Water Authority officials.

Beijing residents require 2.5 billion cubic meters of water a year; however the Capital’s two drinking water reservoirs, Guanting and Miyun, hold a combined total of 1.2 billion cubic meters, the report said.

“Starting this year, the Yellow River-to-Beijing Water Diversion Project will be launched to alleviate water shortages in the capital, and it is expected to transfer 300 million cubic meters of water annually, according to the Beijing Water Authority.”

“The annual water shortage in Beijing now stands at 515 million cubic meters. After the water diversion project is completed in 2015, 1 billion cubic meters of water will be transferred every year, but that still leaves a shortage of 190 million cubic meters of water every year in Beijing.” The report said.

Unfortunately for Beijing residents, the figures don’t add up!

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