Water has hit the headlines amid the sweltering summer heat in Southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality and Sichuan Province. The worst drought in 50 years left 7.5 million people in Chongqing and 3.1 million people in Sichuan in great thirst.
The water depth in the Chongqing section of the Yangtze River, China’s longest, hit 3.5 meters (11.5 feet), its lowest in 100 years. About 2.5 million hectares, or 6.18 million acres, of crops were affected. The drought is just a small part of a much-larger problem.
In rural areas, the situation is grimmer. More than 300 million people in rural areas are short of clean drinking water and pollution is so severe that the Ministry of Water Resources estimates 40 percent of water in the country’s 1,300 or so major rivers is fit only for industrial or agricultural use. [Full Text]