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Showing posts from May 22, 2011

China Facing Worst Drought In Half A Century

China Facing Worst Drought In Half A Century

Central China’s worst drought in more than 50 years is drying reservoirs and stalling rice planting, and threatens crippling power shortages as hydroelectric output slows, state media said yesterday.

Rainfall levels from January to last month in the drainage basin of the Yangtze, China’s longest and most economically important river, have been 40 percent lower than average levels of the past 50 years, the China Daily said.

The national flood and drought control authority has ordered the Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydroelectric project, to increase its discharge of water by 10 percent to 20 percent for the next two weeks.

The measure is aimed at sending badly needed water to the Yangtze’s middle and lower reaches for drinking and irrigation.

Watermarks in more than 1,300 reservoirs in Hubei Province, where the dam is located, have dropped below allowable discharge levels for irrigation, the paper quoted Hubei Reservoir Management Dire…