Historic Drought in Jiangsi and Hunan Provinces
[PureInsight.org] According to a Chinese media report on December 9, 2007, Jiangxi Province entered a drought that lasted from summer to fall for the first time in fifty years. At the moment, it seems that the drought may extend to this winter. It will be a rare drought to last for three seasons in this province. At present, fourteen major rivers in the province have the lowest water levels in recorded history. Up to the end of November, the drought in the Xiangjiang River region in Hunan Province has exceeded 50 days. The drought situation in some parts of the region has become most serious.
The Jiangxi Province Water Department indicates that rainfall has stayed low this year. After the big drought in July and August, it hasn't rained for more than 60 days. From October to November, the average rainfall in Jiangxi Province was only 18 millimeters (0.7 inches), which was 85% lower than the yearly average and was the second lowest recorded in history.
The water level of Poyang Lake, the largest fresh-water lake in China, is only 7.74 meters (25.4 feet), which is 1.89 meters (6.2 feet) lower than the historical lowest level. It is also the historical lowest water level for four consecutive months.
According to some statistics, 8.5 million acres of fall and winter crops are being affected by the drought in Jiangxi and Hunan provinces. Some areas have severe water usage problem. The domestic water of sixty thousand residents in An County in Jiangxi Province is being threatened. There are one hundred thousand residents in Dongxiang County facing the threat of no water.
In addition, because of low water level in rivers and reservoirs, many areas in the southern region have shipping stoppages, fewer goods being transported, and decreases in hydraulic power generation.
According to National Meteorological Department forecasts, the drought in Jiangsi and Hunan provinces will continue to get worse.