Despite a recent cold snap, no rain has fallen in this southern
city since November 10.
It is one of dozens of cities in Guangdong Province and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region that have
been battling drought since September.
Farmers in Mashan county in
suburban Nanning, capital of Guangxi, carry drinking water home
from mountain valleys on December 17, as southern China experiences
a severe drought.
According to official figures, more than 1 million residents in
Guangxi and nearly 250,000 in Guangdong are currently facing
drinking water shortages in the worst drought to hit the region for
more than 50 years.
Between November 5 and December 10, Guangxi recorded just 0.5 mm
of rainfall, the lowest since 1951, the local weather center
And as of December 8, 83 out of 89 cities and counties in
Guangxi had reported drought, with the situation in more than half
of them described as "serious".
One of the country's major sugar cane producers, Guangxi's crop
this year is expected to be down by about 2.7 million tons as a
result of more than 10 million mu of cropland, 75 percent of the
total, being affected by drought, local sugar manufacturers said at
a recent meeting.
The government of Guangxi has said it will spend 2.29 billion
yuan (US$310 million) on irrigation projects this winter and next
spring to provide water to people throughout the region, the
People's Daily reported.
As of last Thursday in Guangdong, 249,000 people and 73,300
hectares of cropland were facing water shortages, according to the
provincial hydraulics bureau.
It said 133 reservoirs in the province had dried up because of
Official figures show the province received 1,453 mm of rain
between January and early December, down almost 20 percent on the
The water level of the Beijiang River at Qingyuan, in the north
of Guangdong, fell to just 3.79 m on December 5, the lowest this
The low level led to more than 100 ships being delayed until
dredgers were used to remove 90,000 cu m of silt, the bureau
On Friday, the State Council released a circular calling on
government departments to strengthen the management of drinking
water and supplies for industry and agriculture, and build
resources to provide better protection against drought.
It also noted the severe drought in Hunan and Jiangxi provinces
which neighbors Guangdong. Many reservoirs and rivers have dried up
as there has been little rain since September.
The Lijiang River in
Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region is drying up.
December 18, 2007)