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Archive for the ‘China Drought’ Category

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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Today is World Water Day

Posted by feww on March 22, 2010

Water Issues: Scarcity and Pollution

A sever drought is affecting about 60 million people in SW China. Well that’s less than 1 percent of the world population, you could argue.

But another 60 million people are severely affected by a drought in the Mekong Basin, which is threatening not just their livelihood, but their survival.  The water flows are the lowest  for 20 years, warns the Mekong River Commission (MRC). The drought has an impact on agriculture, food security, access to clean water and river transport.

Drought conditions are so severe in parts of Africa most women have to walk five miles per day, carrying just enough water for drinking and cooking in large containers placed on their head.

Of Africa’s 53 nations, only 10 countries have adequate drinking water. In Uganda alone, more than 10 million people have no access to clean water.

More than a billion people have NO access to safe water and about 2.5 billion people live without adequate sanitation. About 55 percent of “developing world’s” population are  suffering from at least one major illness  related to unsafe water and poor sanitation.

Each day, at least 6,000 children die of waterborne diseases including diarrhoeal diseases and malaria.—UNICEF


Mwamanongu Village water source, Tanzania. In Meatu district, Shinyanga region, Tanzania, water most often comes from open holes dug in the sand of dry riverbeds, and it is invariably contaminated. Credit:  Bob Metcalf

Unsanitary water is responsible for 80 per cent of all illnesses,  and is world’s number one killer, UN says.

The UN also states that unsanitary water is responsible for 1.5 million cases of hepatitis A (and 133 million cases of intestinal parasites).

According to the world bank, waterborne illnesses are each year responsible for:

  • 4 billion cases of diarrhea, killing more than 6 million people.
  • 300 million cases of malaria
  • 200 million cases of schistosomiasis
  • 6 million people are blinded by trachoma ( 500 million people who are currently at risk of contracting the disease).

Bottom line

As of  March 2010

  • One in five people on this planet have no access to clean water.
  • One in ten people is experiencing a severe to a moderate drought.

Every year, nearly 11 million children die before reaching their fifth birthday, most from preventable causes. That is approximately, 30, 000 children per day. Another 300 million children suffer from illnesses caused by lack of clean water, poor nutrition and inadequate health services and care. —UNICEF

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