Defining the Geopolitics of a Thirsty WorldSM
Two Rivers Diverted…. The Thirsty Dragon Has To Choose Both Paths

Via Terra Daily, a report on China’s recent decision to divert water from its two longest rivers to help farmers hit by the country’s worst drought in decades.  As the article notes:

“…Water from the Yangtze River, the country’s longest, will be diverted to the northern areas of eastern Jiangsu Province, the Xinhua news agency reported, citing Zhang Zhitong, a senior Ministry of Water Resources emergency official.

The announcement came after Beijing last week raised its drought emergency to the highest level for the first time and sent relief supplies and technical specialists to eight major drought-hit regions.

Floodgates will also be opened in Inner Mongolia along the Yellow River, the country’s second longest river, to increase water supply for central Henan and eastern Shandong provinces, Zhang according to the report.

China has released more than five billion cubic meters (177 cubic feet) of water from the Yellow River to fight the drought that has hit most of its north since November, Xinhua said.

The drought is also affecting central and southwestern rice-growing provinces.

More than 4.3 million people and 2.1 million head of livestock are short of water, the relief headquarters said this week, as parts of the nation experience their worst drought since the early 1950s.

About 43 percent of the country’s winter wheat supplies are at risk, as some areas have seen no rain for 100 days or more, state media said previously.

The dry spell highlights one of China’s main long-term worries, as water resources are being rapidly depleted due to the country’s fast economic growth.

The capital, Beijing, is particularly badly hit, with experts warning the city of 17 million people will soon face water shortages.

This entry was posted on Monday, February 9th, 2009 at 12:31 pm and is filed under China, Yangtze River, Yellow River.  You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.  Both comments and pings are currently closed. 

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