Central China dams release water to ease drought

22:12, November 09, 2010      

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Central China's Hunan Province Tuesday started releasing more water from upstream reservoirs to boost near record low water levels in the mid and lower reaches of a major local river.

Sustained drought had decreased water levels in the Xiangjiang River in Changsha City to 25.08 meters at 8 a.m. Tuesday, slightly higher than the record low of 24.8 meters last November.

Some parts of the riverbed were dry and barren, and boats were grounded and drinking water safety was jeopardized, said the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters.

The Xiangjiang River basin has only received 28 mm of rainfall since October, 69 percent less than normal years, it said in a statement.

The headquarters has ordered the Dongjiang Reservoir in the upper reaches of the Xiangjiang River to release no less than 150 cubic meters of water per second and Zhuzhou Reservoir to release 480 cubic meters per second as of 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Without the action, the river water level in Changsha would fall to 24.1 meters within a week, it said.

That would then result in disruptions in tap water supplies to the provincial capital, which has a population of more than 6 million, as the level was lower than the water intake points of some water plants, it stated.

Authorities in Changsha are also building emergency water intake points further into the middle of the river to ensure water supplies as no substantial rain is forecast in the near future.

Source: Xinhua


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