Drought has prevented spring planting on more than a million
hectares and continues to threaten people and livestock in both Hebei Province near Beijing and Hainan Province far to the south.
Hebei's Bureau of Water Resources said the province has had an
average monthly rainfall of just 13 millimeters since last
November, a third less than normal.
This spring crops were not planted on 1.47 million hectares of
farmland for lack of irrigation, said the provincial bureau of
Some 380,000 people in the province have been suffering from a
shortage of drinking water.
About 1.7 billion cu m of water is available for irrigation this
spring, 500 million cubic meters less than a year ago.
On the tropical island of Hainan Province, 191,000 people and
52,000 heads of livestock are coping with water shortages, say
sources from Hainan Provincial Office of Drought Control.
More than 89,300 hectares of crops have been affected by the
Additionally, over 370 reservoirs and ponds have been dried up
across Hainan, which is a major agricultural base. Thirteen other
reservoirs have dropped to the lowest marker.
There has been no runoff in 21 rivers in the southwestern part
of Hainan, said Wang Zhenxing, deputy director of the Hainan
The Ministry of Finance and the State Flood Control and Drought
Relief Headquarters have allotted 28 million yuan (US$3.5 million)
to Hainan to help alleviate the affects of the drought. The
province has contributed 39 million yuan (US$4.8 million) to the
Local government officials are helping farmers grow
drought-resistant crops and implement water conservation
(Xinhua News Agency April 13, 2007)