Travel Bulletin China: Severe Drought Threatens Drinking Water and Power Production43 sec read
The worst drought in fifty years is threatening to severely disrupt life in Hubei, Jiangxi and three other southern Chinese provinces, which traditionally have abundant water resources. Emergency rationing of drinking water is in place for over four million people. At the same time, reduced river flow has hampered hydroelectric power production resulting in rolling blackouts and brownouts. High demand for power during the summer months will likely exacerbate this situation. The drought is also pushing up prices of food, raising the specter of social unrest.
China’s leading environmentalist, Ma Jun, has suggested that China’s poor water management policies are at the root of the problem as much as a lack of rainfall. The massive Three Gorges Dam is draining downstream lakes, and China is planning to divert huge amounts of water to the arid north via an even larger engineering project over the next four decades.