More than 1.6 million people in western
China are facing
drinking water shortages due to a severe drought, local government
The worst drought in 60 years has hit the central and eastern
areas of the northwestern province of Gansu, leaving nearly 900,000
people short of drinking water and affecting 1.46 million hectares
of cropland, according to the Gansu provincial flood control and
drought relief office.
Qingyang, Pingliang and Tianshui in eastern Gansu have not seen
any significant rainfall for the past two months, the office
Crops are expected to fail on about 80,000 hectares while
another 100,000 hectares will not even be planted because of the
drought, it said.
In worst-hit Qingyang, it's costing residents 80 to 110 yuan
(US$10.3 to 14.2) for a cubic meter of water.
Though there was moderate rainfall over the past few days, it
did little to alleviate the drought in worst-hit areas, the office
Drought is also plaguing the southwestern province of Sichuan,
which saw its worst drought in half a century last summer.
Seventy-two counties of Sichuan have not had rain for 20 to 28
days, said Zuo Xiong, deputy director of the Sichuan provincial
As of Sunday, 760,000 people and 810,000 livestock in Sichuan
faced drinking water shortages, according to an official with the
provincial water resource department.
The two provinces are considering trying to make artificial
rainfall to alleviate the drought.
(Xinhua News Agency May 25, 2007)