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Severe Drought Plagues Central China

Posted by feww on November 22, 2013

Central China is now in a state of  almost permanent drought

severe drought in china nov 2013
No end in sight for the severe drought that has plagued central China. Image credit: gmw.com via Xinhua. More images…

China’s largest freshwater lake rapidly shrinking

Meantime, surface area of Poyang Lake, in China’s Jiangxi Province,  has shrunk to less than 6 percent of its original size of more than 3,500km²

An early dry season this year, which began in mid-October, has reduced the lake into shallow streams, said a report.

poyang lake
China’s largest freshwater lake, Poyang Lake, is drying up, causing a severe shortage of drinking water in the region, crippling the local fishing industry and threatening the lake’s ecology. Image credit: News.com via Xinhua. More images…

The lake has been subject to prolonged dry seasons since the 1990s due to persistent droughts, and reduced water supplies from the Yangtze River due to hydroelectric dams.

Other contributing factors include increasing water use and damage to the lake bed.

The crisis has caused a severe shortage of drinking water, crippling the local fishing industry and threatening the lake’s ecology,  said the report.

“Meteorological data showed the province has received 60 percent less precipitation since September than the average over the same period since records began in 1952.”

Additionally, a cluster of 29 dams erected on the upper reaches of the Yangtze river, which includes the Three Gorges Dam, store a total of up to 53 billion cubic meters of water, contributing to the death of Poyang, according to China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research.

Large numbers of migrating Siberian cranes used to spend the winter on Poyang Lake.

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