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|Thursday, June 08, 2000, updated at 17:05(GMT+8)|
Drought Claims 10 Billion Kilos Grain Loss AnnuallyChina has suffered a lot from drought every year, especially in the field of agricultural economy. Statistics show that since 1950 drought-inflicted area has averaged 326 billion mu every year all over the country with the calamitous area occupying 34 million mu, causing a reduction of crops of 10 billion kg, which account for 60% of the crop losses incurred by all kinds of natural calamities.
According to Ministry of Water Resources, more than half of China's arable lands lack of irrigation facilities. 80% of water control projects were built before 1970s and most of them have gone aged and can no longer be repaired or used. Moreover, many irrigation facilities are incomplete and unpaired, and so the working efficiency is very low. Whenever there is dry spell agriculture will suffer greatly.
Aridity has caused great losses to animal husbandry and industry. Water shortage resulted in low yield and quality of pasturage and livestock died in large number. The Inner Mongolia alone has lost 270 million tons of pasturage with 9 million livestock died due to the drought in the past 40 years. Every year, the direct industrial losses hit 14.47 billion yuan according to price in 1990. Indirect economic loss is more amazing. According to estimation, the indirect losses caused by agriculture and industry failure topped 85.23 billion yuan every year as based on the price of 1990.
Over extraction of underground water caused by drought has resulted in the ground sedimentation and the influx of seawater. Every year sees eight billion cubic meters of underground water over-extracted the country over, and underground funnel area has added up to 56, covering an area of 87000 sq.km., the deepest one being over 100 meters. Cases of sedimentation, sinking and cracking have occurred in more than 30 cities, and the area of over 1200 sq.km along the Bohai Bay and the Jiaodong Peninsula has seen the inflow of seawater.
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