Dry, Polluted, Plagued by Rats: the Crisis in China’s Greatest River – Jonathan Watts

The Guardian writes about the recent woes of the Yangtze:

Yangtze460X276The waters of the Yangtze have fallen to their lowest levels since 1866, disrupting drinking supplies, stranding ships and posing a threat to some of the world’s most endangered species.

Asia’s longest river is losing volume as a result of a prolonged dry spell, the state media warned yesterday, predicting hefty economic losses and a possible plague of rats on nearby farmland.

News of the drought – which is likely to worsen pollution in the river – comes amid dire reports about the impact of rapid economic growth on China’s environment. [Full text]

See also “Ships grounded along Yangtze River” from the Foreign Policy blog; “Water level of Yangtze lowest for 140 years” from China Daily; and “China drought underlines hydropower reliance risks” from Reuters.

[Image: A river bed is exposed as water levels fall along the Yangtze river near Wuhan, central China's Hubei province by AP, via The Guardian]

January 17, 2008 5:02 PM
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Categories: Environment, Sci-Tech