Wells dry up, ground-water levels fall as drought parches east China

13:25, December 31, 2010      

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Lingering drought has left 338 small reservoirs in east China's Shandong Province dry, authorities said Friday.

The ground-water level in Shandong has fallen 0.43 meters to an average 5.42 meters since Sept. 1, said Yin Changwen, spokesman for the Shandong Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.

The water yield of nearly 30,000 electromechanical wells has significantly declined, Yin added.

Since Sept. 23, Shandong has received an average of 9 millimeters of rain, 86 percent below previous years' average.

About 240,000 people in the province are short of drinking water, and about 27.58 million mu (1.84 million hectares) of croplands are suffering from drought.

The dry spell in Shandong is likely to continue, with no rain or snow forecast for the near future.

This year, severe droughts have parched a wide area across the globe, from North Africa across the Indian subcontinent to southwest China and even Australia.

Southwest China's Sichuan, Guizhou and Yunnan provinces along with Chongqing municipality suffered their most severe drought in 100 years.

Shandong, Shanxi, Hebei, Henan, Jiangsu and Anhui provinces, in China's north and east, were also hit by severe drought.

The China's Meteorological Administration has forecast widespread snowfalls from Jan. 1 to 3, which may ease the drought.

Source: Xinhua
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