Central China’s Water Woes 5/18/2011

China Drought newsThe United States is not the only country with water issues. A harsh drought in Central China along the Yangtze River region has left maybe people and fields thirsty.  The Hubei Province currently has almost 1,400 reservoirs that are temporarily unusable from the low supply of water available. Certain areas along the river are coming close to record lows.  A five month drought in China doesn’t only affect the land. Droughts have a negative domino effect not only on the people, but on trade routes, livestock and crops. In today’s global marketplace, it is likely that world prices for commodities could rise as shipping becomes more time consuming and agriculture production is hindered.

Conditions have gotten so bad, that the Three Gorges Dam was called up to make its second emergency discharge in order to ease the drought. The Three Gorges Dam is the single largest hydroelectric project in the world and released 400 million cubic meters of water during early May. This large discharge is meant to help ease shipments traveling along the Yangstze and ease concerns for the people of the nearby cities.

Reports have shown that last week, more than 300,000 people and 90,000 livestock in Hubei were short on drinking water. Farmland was not spared either, with more than 2 million acres that have been affected by this season’s droughts. The drought has also affected nearly the nearby province of Hunan has at least 300,000.

Hopefully some much need rain will show up in the upcoming weeks.

As of Saturday, the drought had left 315,000 people and 97,300 livestock in the Hubei short of drinking water, and more than two million acres of farmland had been affected, Xinhua reported. In neighboring Henan Province, the drought had affected at least 320,000 people.

hubei map

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