China to dig 1,350 wells to ease drought, ensure grain production

21:25, February 11, 2011      

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China plans to dig 1,350 wells in eight major wheat-growing provinces to help ease the ongoing drought that is threatening the country's grain harvest, said the Ministry of Land and Resources (MLR) on Friday.

The ministry will establish an anti-drought and well drilling operation headquarters and three front working teams in north China, Huanghuai area - along the Yellow and Huai rivers - and northwest China, said the MLR at a video conference.

Also, China Geological Survey, an institution directly under the MLR, will transfer experienced technicians from its nine affiliated units to form three emergency squads and 12 emergency groups to assist local governments in finding water in those regions, said the MLR.

Further, the MLR will send geological survey teams from its nine affiliated units and eight provinces, including Sichuan, Yunnan and Guizhou, to the eight provinces, it said.

The survey teams will bring 100 sets of advanced geophysical prospecting instruments and 320 sets of drill machines to dig 1,350 wells to ease the water shortages affecting people and livestock, especially those in mountainous areas, and strengthen local irrigation, it noted.

The eight provinces include Shandong, Henan, Hubei, Anhui, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Gansu and Jiangsu, which are China's major wheat-producing regions and have been severely affected by months-long drought.

The MLR had previously put in place a series of measures to relieve drought and find water, such as making underground water layout maps and sending experts to drought-hit regions to give technical guidance, said the MLR.

As of 3 p.m. Thursday, the drought had affected 101.28 million mu (6.75 million hectares) of crops nationwide and left 2.81 million people and 2.57 million livestock short of drinking water, said the Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.

Source: Xinhua
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