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Drought in Key Chinese River Due to Excessive Use of Water
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A key Chinese river winding through 26 large and medium-sized cities is suffering from an increasingly drought environment due to the excessive exploitation of water resources, a regional water conservancy authority said.


The Haihe River Valley, covering some 320,000 square km and flowing through Beijing and Tianjin municipalities and Hebei and Shandong provinces, has seen 21 of its trunk tributaries run dry for nearly seven months every year over the past several years, according to a survey conducted by the Haihe River water conservancy commission under the Ministry of Water Resources.


The survey revealed that the water resources in the river have been overused to adapt to the growing population and rapid economic development along the river.


Nearly 100 percent of the water resources in the river valley have been exploited, far exceeding the world standard of 40 percent, according to He Shan, deputy chief engineer of the Haihe River commission.


Insufficient rainfall and surface water have led to the excessive use of underground water in the river basin, a main cause of a ground cave-in covering some 40,000 square km in the region.


(Xinhua News Agency January 28, 2006)


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