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Droughts Leave Nation Thirsty for Solution
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With droughts now a constant problem in China, greater efforts must be made to prevent water being wasted, officials say.

More work to prevent soil erosion has also been called for, as well as more efficient drought-relief emergency plans.

"Coping with the nation's drought problems is going to be a long-term task as, more or less, there is now a drought somewhere in the country all year round," said Zhang Jiatuan, director of the drought-relief department of the Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief.

"Dealing with the issue requires immediate high-level attention and co-ordination across the whole nation."

The official said many local governments concentrated on short-term drought-relief projects, or even simply waited in the hope rain or snow would eventually relieve the drought.

China has experienced a series of serious droughts in recent years, especially in Shandong, Henan, Anhui, Jiangxi provinces and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

According to the China Meteorological Administration (CMA), less than 20 millimetres of rain fell on northeast and north China, the Yellow River, Huaihe River and Yangtze River valleys, as well as parts of central and south China in October.

The rainfall in these areas was 50 to 90 percentdown on the monthly average, CMA said.

To deal with the problem State headquaters and local governments have all issued emergency policies, mainly ordering the construction of new water supply resources and better water management, according to Zhang Jiatuan.

(China Daily November 10, 2006)

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