Drought Control Measures Initiated by the Government
The ongoing drought along the Yangtze river is affecting the 34 million people that are depending on the river to supply water to their farms and livestock, and is drying out a major grain belt in China.
In a statement released, the Civil Affairs Ministry noted that 4 million people are in need of adequate drinking water, plus 5 million more are in need of help in overcoming the drought and dwindling supplies. The ministry also said that the drought this year is going to be longer, which is having a dramatic impact on the farming industry with even drinking water for people being greatly affected.
The Yangtze river is the longest and most important river in China and from January to April the level of rainfall was 60 percent lower than in the past 50 years. The drought so far has had a direct economic impact on the country that has amounted to over 14 billion yuan. Surveys done in the rivers, lakes and water reservoirs in nearby provinces are the lowest the country has ever seen and is already affecting fish farms in surrounding areas.
To combat the drought the national flood and drought control service has already ordered operators of the Three Gorges Dam to release more water to alleviate the regions found downstream.