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Beijing Suffers Drought for Eighth Straight Year
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A lack of rainfall has resulted in serious drought for Beijing for the eighth year running, according to flood control and drought relief officials.


Beijing recorded only 426 millimeters of rainfall from January 1 to September 15, down seven percent from the same period last year and 20 percent less than the average over the last 30 years, said Wang Yi, spokesman for the general office of the Beijing Municipal Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.


Even during the supposed flood season from June 1 to September 15, Beijing had just 350 millimeters of rainfall, four percent down from last year, and 25 percent less than the 30-year average.


"It is certainly a seriously dry year this year," Wang said.


Water reserves in local reservoirs were only 1.39 billion cubic meters as of September 15, down three million cubic meters from the beginning of the year.


Local work units and residents have been urged to continue their water-saving efforts, according to a Beijing News report.


The city faces a serious water shortage, with per capita water resources standing at 300 cubic meters, one-eighth of the national average and only a fraction of the international average.


(Xinhua News Agency September 21, 2006)

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