News / Asia

No End in Sight for China's Drought

People walk on a dried up pond at Hanzhuang village in Tangyin county in central China's Henan province (File Photo)
People walk on a dried up pond at Hanzhuang village in Tangyin county in central China's Henan province (File Photo)
TEXT SIZE - +

A prolonged drought across much of China is threatening the country's wheat crop and could affect global food prices. Capital Beijing is among the regions badly affected by water shortages.

Beijing has not seen any rain or snow for a hundred days and the government warned the country Wednesday the drought does not look like it will end soon.

But the capital fares better than other areas suffering the worst drought in 60 years.

Shandong is a main agricultural producing province and sits in the heart of the country's eastern wheat belt, which grows 80 percent of the country's crop.

The government says farmers there are suffering from the worst drought in 300 years.

China’s drought control agency says more than five million hectares of crops have been damaged.

Millions of people in the east face severe drinking water shortages. The Water Resources Ministry says two-thirds of China’s cities are short of water.

Jonathan Watts, who has written extensively about the environmental effects of China’s modernization, says drought is not the only problem when it comes to water supplies in the country.

He says ever-increasing water demand in China has seen the natural water table and many lakes and rivers all but run dry. Pollution also has fouled many water sources.

But he says now the government seems willing to act and cut waste.

"The government has announced as a priority that it will double spending on water conservation and the next 10 years should see an improvement," said Watts. "It is not just finding new ways to increase supply but is actually about reducing the waste and perhaps even capping demand, and using water much more efficiently. This is really the way to go, and it seems like they are ready to do it."

The government has implemented an emergency response plan, putting parched areas on a 24-hour alert, dispatching experts and aid and ordering daily damage reports.

The dry spell prompted the United Nations World Food Program to warn Tuesday that China's wheat crop is now under threat.

Agricultural experts say this is bad news not only for China, but also for the world.

A poor harvest will see China import more grain, which could push up world prices, and adding soaring food inflation in many parts of the world.

China’s government is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on drought relief this year. And the government is building a system to pump water hundreds of miles from the wet south to the dry north.

State media reported Wednesday the Three Gorges Dam discharged millions of liters of water to assist areas down many miles down stream.

You May Like

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid