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Drought Leaves 500,000 Short of Water in Guizhou
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Some areas in and around the city of Zunyi in southwest China's Guizhou Province are facing water rationing after receiving lesser rainfall in recent months.

Almost half a million people and more than 300,000 livestock, have been affected by the drought that began last summer.

The Guizhou Provincial Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters said that parts of Zunyi City had been suffering unusually high temperatures and low precipitation since last winter.

In January and February, temperatures in the province were about three to six degrees Celsius higher than average. In recent months, the counties of Renhuai, Wuchuan and Tongzi received rainfall 10 percent to 30 percent less than their average amount in normal years.

Residents of Huaqiu Town of Tongzi County have had their supply of running water restricted to just one hour a day. Running water in districts of the Wuchuan County lasts for four hours a day.

Water reserves in Zunyi are also running dangerously low. By March 30, the city's water conservation facilities had stores of 171 million cubic meters of water, about 42 percent of the normal amount.

Flood control and drought relief headquarters of Zunyi have temporarily suspended production businesses that consume a lot of water. The headquarters is also raising funds for the construction of emergency water reservoirs and repairing the existing pipelines to prevent water loss.

(Xinhua News Agency April 19, 2007)

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