Millions lack drinking water in China

Severe drought across large areas of China regions has caused over 13 million people to suffer drinking water shortages, the country's state drought relief service has said.

Extremely low rainfall since the beginning of spring has left 13.4m people and 12m head of livestock lacking access to drinking water, the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters reported.

Farmland and crops were also affected, with 13m hectares hit by water shortages, Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported.

Southern China is hardest hit, after only 10mm of rain fell in Sichuan and the island Hainan provinces since mid-March and none in Yunnan.

Parts of the North are also affected, with reservoirs half-empty in northeast China and Inner Mongolia, large parts of which are covered by desert.

Xinhua reported Tian Yitang as saying that “drought has aggravated water shortages in north China and would likely affect spring ploughing.”

Relief is not likely to come in the near future, as Chinese meteorological services are forecasting little rain in the Sichuan, Chongqing and Yunnan provinces in the next ten days as well as “floating dust in northern China.”

Goska Romanowicz

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