China Drought-hit millions face heavy water cuts : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Published on Thursday, July 20, 2000 Drought-hit millions face heavy water cuts


Millions of households in more than 100 cities in the northern provinces are facing a cut in water supplies due to a severe drought which has plagued the region since spring. In cities including Tianjin, Yantai, Jinan, Weihai and Changchun, big reservoirs only have enough water to last another few weeks with the water level hitting record lows, Xinhua reported yesterday.

According to the mainland's Anti-Flood Office, an increasing number of counties or cities in the provinces of Shanxi, Shandong and Heilongjiang have been forced to impose water quotas on households and factories.

Although days of heavy rain in the north at the beginning of this month had increased the water level in the reservoirs, the rise has been too little to alleviate the chronic drought problem.

In Shandong province, more than 1.8 million people in 38 cities have had their water supply reduced. Further north in Harbin, 200,000 residents are only allowed to use water at night. The city Government in Changchun has cut off the water supply to swimming pools, schools and car washes.

Beijing could face cutbacks due to over-exploitation of its underground water resources. A spokesman for the office said the Central Government and the State Council were concerned about the water crisis. Party committees and local authorities were drawing up a contingency plan as well as a long-term one to safeguard sufficient water supplies for the people.

According to the Ministry of Water Resources, an increasing number of cities on the mainland have been facing water shortages since the 1990s.

The drought problem has also hurt crop yields as the dry farmlands in provinces such as Shandong have triggered locust plagues.

In stark contrast to the parched north, the country's central and southern areas are approaching the flood peak of the year. Official figures show at least 564 people have been killed in floods on the mainland since the rainy season started in June.

Flooding has affected provinces as far north as Shaanxi, where 135 people have been killed recently in floods in the counties of Ziyang and Hu.

An extra concern is that as the disasters worsen, public dissatisfaction is growing and the threat of social unrest is becoming more real.

-- Martin Thompson (, July 21, 2000


Northeast China faces serious water shortage (07/21/2000) Little rain in northeast China's Jilin Province has caused a serious water shortage in this provincial capital, said to be the most serious one in the last one hundred years.

To deal with the problem, the city government has decided to start supplying water to four regions at different time periods, lessening daily water use by a total 200,000 cubic meters as of Thursday.

All the public bathrooms, swimming pools and car washing and cleaning centers have stopped running, The local afforestation bureau is required to substitute river or lake water for tap water to irrigate the green patches and trees along the roads. Enterprises are also ordered to lessen water usage by either one fifth or one ninth.

The average temperature in the city since June 1 has been 24.5 degrees Celsius, 3.6 degrees higher than usual. Northeast China, once a cool area in summer, has become a "furnace".

Most local dams and rivers have dried up, and the water reserve in the two main reservoirs for the city's production and daily life are now only 10 million cubic meters or another 20 or 30 days' supply.

Continuous high temperature and little rain may reduce the city's industrial output value by six billion yuan (about 720 million US dollars) and profits by around 300 million yuan. Drought-hit farmland in the city has now reached some 100,000 hectare water.721.html

-- Martin Thompson (, July 21, 2000.

The Chinese haven't been making a lot of noise lately about Taiwan. Maybe this is the reason. Distraction.

-- Uncle Fred (, July 21, 2000.

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