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Water Level in Largest Fresh Water Lake Drops Sharply
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The water level of Poyang Lake, China's largest fresh water lake, has dropped sharply as it continues to supply water to the Yangtze River's middle reaches which are at their lowest level in more than a century.

The water level at the lake's Xingzi Hydro Station has fallen 3.25 meters since Aug. 9th, said Cao Mei, an expert with the Poyang Lake Hydrologic Bureau.

Water depth at the station is now 11.25 meters, breaking its previous low-level water mark for this time of year of 11.87 meters, which was set in 1971, he said.

The 330,000-hectare lake receives water from five rivers in east China's Jiangxi Province and supplies water to the Yangtze River. In late July 7,000 cubic meters per second were flowing into the Yangtze River but that has been reduced to 4,600 cubic meters per second.

Navigation on the lake has not been affected, Cao is worried that might occur if the water level continues to fall.

With drought conditions and high temperatures prevailing since July, the water level in the Jiangxi Province section of the Yangtze River fell to 11.81 meters on Wednesday, breaking the previous low of 12.01 meters at the same time of year set in 1972.

(Xinhua News Agency August 25, 2006)

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