China drought causes water shortage

January 12th, 2012 - 4:55 am ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Jan 12 (IANS) A lingering drought in eastern China has caused a severe water shortage and affected over one million people, authorities said Wednesday.

The water level in Poyang Lake, the country’s largest freshwater lake, as well as the rivers in Jiangxi province has dropped sharply, threatening water supplies to more than one million people, a drought relief official said.

The water-surface area of the lake shrank to less than 200 sq. km. in January, or 5 percent of its full size, reports Xinhua.

Scanty rainfall was the main reason for the drought. The province’s rainfall in 2011 was 20 percent less than its annual average.

The Ganjiang river, biggest river in Jiangxi, has seen water levels in its middle and lower reaches drop to a record low.

Excessive sand dredging was also to blame for the situation as water levels have dropped with the riverbed, making it harder to pump out groundwater, an expert with the province’s water resources department said.

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