Lingering drought threatens eco-environment along Yangtze River

08:42, June 03, 2011      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

The lingering drought continues to wreak havoc along the Yangtze, raising concerns about the ecological security in the areas along China's longest river.

"I've never seen it this bad. The waterweeds and fish are all dried dead," says Zhang Yueming, a 53-year-old farmer from Sushui County in Jiangsu Province.

Behind him is a large expanse of muddy water dotted with dying fish and clams. The enclosed crab-breeding farms are parched and cracked as a result of the relentless dry spell that is gripping central and eastern China. At the banks of the Shijiu Lake, fishing gear lies unattended.

The 207-square-kilometer lake is located at the lower reaches of the Yangtze River. The depth of the lake is usually around 10 meters, but this year, the lake is barely one meter deep.

This scene is not untypical in the regions affected by the drought.

"The meteorological drought has developed into hydrological drought and ecological drought, and farming and fishing is severely affected," says Jiang Jiahu, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

Rainfall along the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze has been at its lowest since 1951, down 40 percent to 60 percent from the average level, according to statistics from the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.

Jiang said if the drought continues, the natural environment along the Yangtze River will be badly hurt.

Traditionally praised as the "land of fish and rice," the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River are well suited for farming and fishing.

However, hasty development in the regions has left the ecological balance in a fragile state.

In recent years, with the quickened pace of industrialization and urbanization, rice paddies have given way to buildings, and rivers are filled to provide space to factories. The land is becoming too frail to stand to the test of the drought.

Honghu Lake, an important ecological site that is listed by the World Wildlife Fund, has also been hit by the drought. The lake area is home to 494 kinds of plants and 774 kinds of animals.

"The drought has done considerable damage to the ecological environment of the Honghu Lake," says Zeng Xiaodong, head of the management office of the Honghu marshland.

"Right now it is the spawning season for fishes and they need shallow waters, but the lake is running dry and their spawning is greatly affected," he says.

【1】 【2】


Source:Xinhua
 
 
     
 
Wen Jiabao attends trilateral leaders' meeting of China,Japan and ROK
 
The Third China-U.S.Strategic and Economic Dialogue
 
     
 
 
 
  Weekly review  
 
May 27   Kim calls for close ties through generations
 
May 23   China intends to enhance friendship with Japan
May 23   Expert: Ecological problems not all due to Three Gorges Dam
May 24   Top military official's visit promotes China-US military ties
May 28   The week in pictures
May 25   'China fever' sweeps US tourism industry
May 26   US should not monopolize cyber affairs
May 26   Salty tide hits Shanghai as drought lingers
May 25   A new chapter for China-South Africa cooperation
May 27   Military trusted most of all Chinese institutions
 
     
 
 

(Editor:陈乐乐)

  • Do you have anything to say?

双语词典
dictionary

  

Related Channel News

Special Coverage
  • China battles droughts
  • Wen Jiabao attends trilateral leaders' meeting of China, Japan and ROK
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • Former banker elected Latvian president
  • 62 works of Picasso to be exhibited in Taipei
  •  Attempt to attack Messi outside a bar
  • Meat producer re-starts production after pork contamination scandal
  • Attempt to attack Messi outside a bar
  • Cosplay show held at Changchun int'l comic fair
Hot Forum Dicussion