Poyang Lake, China's largest freshwater lake, saw its water level drop sharply to 7.95 meters, the lowest level in six decades, Xinhua News Agency reported.
Photo taken on Jan. 6, 2012 shows the parched lakebed of the Yinshan Section of the Poyang Lake in Duchang County, east China's Jiangxi Province.
The drop poses a threat to the water supply of Duchang County's 120,000 residents.
Reporters who visited the lake last Friday witnessed a parched lakebed, dead snails and clams, and fishing ships that had run aground on the lakebed near the Yinshan sections in Duchang.
In order to meet the local demand for water, Duchang's water supply company is pumping water from below the lakebed via five huge water pipelines.
An official from the Duchang Hydrometric Station confirmed that the gradually receding water level has greatly affected not only the water supply of residents who live near the lake, but also shipping, and migratory birds who fly to the area for the winter.
The Jiangxi provincial hydrographic bureau said last week that the surface area of Poyang Lake has shrunk to less than 200 square km.
The recent drop in the water level is down to three factors: The low water level of the Yangtze River near the Jiujiang section, reduced water discharge to the lake from the tributaries of the five rivers in Jiangxi Province and a lasting drought in the lake area.