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Poyang lake in danger of drying up

0 CommentsPrint E-mail CNTV, May 23, 2011
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Poyang lake in East China's Jiangxi Province is the country's largest freshwater lake. But months of dry weather have parched it to less than one tenth of its normal size - and it's in danger of drying up altogether.

This is no desert.... it's Poyang Lake.

Its 4 thousand square meter area has now been reduced to less than 4 hundred.

As boats jostle for space on the lake, fishermen are getting desperately worried about their livelihoods.

Guo Caiai, fisherman said "I haven't gone fishing since spring festival. There's no fish in there at all."

Fishermen are not the only ones suffering, as the lake slowly ebbs away.

This year's drought has made planting crops impossible for many farmers - even a hardy crop such as cotton, that needs little water.

Yuan Zhi, farmer said "We normally plant 10 hectares of cotton on our 50 hectares of land. But this year, it's all died."

Experts fear the drought could trigger a breakdown of the area's entire eco-system.

Dai Nianhua, Vice Director of Poyang Lake Research Center said "Lack of water can lead to the extinction of some water plants. Fish rely on those plants for food... and humans eat fish. The number of fish species in Poyang Lake has already fallen by half."

Some experts have suggested diverting water to the lake from other less affected regions.

Meanwhile, the central government says it's discharging more water from the Three Gorges Reservoir, to help relieve the drought.


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