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12 Provinces Suffer from Severe Drought

While the south is experiencing severe floods, severest drought in decades is hitting 12 provinces in China such as Henan, Hebei and others. Some areas have been without water for three months. Experts analyze water and ecology are destroyed at the cost of rapid economic growth. Projects such as the Three Gorges Dam and the Water Diversion are causing huge negative impact to the surrounding ecology. 2014-08-04 07:07 AM EST Last Updated: 2014-08-04 07:12 AM EST
While the south is experiencing severe floods, severest drought in decades is hitting 12 provinces in China such as Henan, Hebei and others. Some areas have been without water for three months. Experts analyze water and ecology are destroyed at the cost of rapid economic growth. Projects such as the Three Gorges Dam and the Water Diversion are causing huge negative impact to the surrounding ecology.

Severest drought in decades has occurred in 12 provinces such as Henan, Hebei, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Hubei, Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang and others the summer of this year. For instance, Shaanxi suffered its worst drought in 53 years, Henan suffered the worst one in 63 years. Some areas have been without water for three months.

Mainland media reported that as of July 30, drought covers more than 11.9 million acres of farm land, affecting 2.07 million farm animals. More than 1.6 million people lack drinking water. Drought mainly centers in Henan province, accounting for half of the drought stricken area in the entire nation.

Mr. Du, a resident of Henan: "There has been no rain. All the crops were dry dead. We have to get drinking water in pails from tens of miles away, as well as food."

Mr. Du indicates the local government has done nothing to the disaster despite the severity of the drought and the hardship.

A peasant of Xi'an, Shaanxi province, Mr. Zhao, told NTD TV about the local drought. He also revealed that local reservoirs were deliberately destroyed.

Mr. Zhao: "The crops have withered. The reservoirs and the wells were ruined intentionally long ago. Since then, there has been no harvest."

Mr. Zhao explains, since local leaders deliberately destroyed the irrigation facilities, farming was forced to stop. The deserted land was then resold and became personal gain for the village leaders. Villagers were left with nothing.

The Tibetan Plateau, the birthplace of some of China's major rivers, suffers severe damage and pollution after dozens of years of exploitation in the west. Dry riverbeds are widespread in the Plateau. Similar issues have also occurred to many other areas in China, such as the northeast wetlands being swallowed up by real estate development.


Sulmaan Khan, assistant Professor of Chinese Foreign Relations at Tufts University, described in an article in Foreign Affairs magazine, “The Chinese public is tired of the water shortages, unsafe drinking water, and soil contamination caused by haphazard urban development.” The water shortage is not only a serious damage to the ecology, but also suicidal.

The article mentioned the water diversion project brings immense ecological risks. “It is quite possible that the project will disrupt the river systems and exacerbate water shortages, rather than solve them, by triggering soil erosion.” But, Beijing has yet to develop a plan that addresses the entirety of its environmental woes.

Chinese financial think tank researcher Gong Shengli: "The water diversion and the Three Gorges dam, as well as the Sanmenxia power plants built by the Soviet Union, have resulted in disasters hard to resolve."

Many seismic activities and mud slides in surrounding areas such as Chongqing, Sichuan and so forth, have been analyzed to be greatly connected to ecological damage brought by the Three Gorges Dam.

Temperatures between August 2 and 4 reached as high as 37 to 39 degrees C, and even 40 degrees in the Sichuan Basin, Chongqing, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Henan, and Hubei.

July 30, Hydrology and Resources Bureau of Henan Province issued a drought warning: No rainfall is expected next week. And by mid-August, most parts of Shaanxi will continue under high temperatures and little rain, the drought will worsen.

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