Drought hits shipping on two Chinese rivers

December 18th, 2011 - 4:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Dec 18 (IANS) Shipping was paralyzed along the drought-stricken Xijiang and Xiangjiang rivers running through south China as authorities preserved drinking water for the region’s households.

As of Sunday, more than 900 vessels remained stuck on a section of the Xijiang river that runs through the city of Wuzhou.

Lack of rain decreased the river’s runoff by more than 30 percent in December, reported Xinhua.

Authorities said Saturday that the Changzhou reservoir, the river’s primary water control facility, will not discharge water until Wednesday.

Water must be stored in the reservoir in order to ensure sustainable drinking water supplies in January, otherwise, supplies will only last for 12 days, said officials.

Xijiang is a major tributary of the pearl river.

The river’s low water level has been attributed to a lingering drought along its upper reaches in the provinces of Guizhou, Yunnan and Guangxi.

Water levels on a section of the Xiangjiang river that runs through Changsha, the capital of Hunan province, reached a historic low Thursday.

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