March 22, 2010

Historic Chinese Drought Marks World Water Day

Today is World Water Day a project from the 1992 UN conference on the environment in Rio. Chinese PM Wen Jiabao just concluded a visit to drought stricken Yunnan Province. For 3 days Wen saw empty reservoirs and dried up villages suffering from a century drought in southwestern China. The provinces of Yunnan and Guizhou are particularly hard hit but also affected are Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Sichuan, and giant Chongqing municipality.

China has suffered devastating droughts from time immemorial. Beijing says the drought in the southwestern region is the worst in 100 years. Officially 51 million Chinese are impacted. The rains stopped coming last October and some areas have not seen rain for 9 months. Downstream along the Mekong River China's dams are blamed by critics in Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam. Wen Jiabao said no one in China would go without drinking water and indicated Beijing will ramp up relief efforts....

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