A fifth of farmland affected by drought
Source: CCTV.com | 03-01-2008 13:13
Chinese authorities say nearly a fifth of the country's arable land has been affected by either drought or adverse winter weather. Special funds have been allocated to facilitate drought relief efforts in affected areas. And authorities are urging more efficient use of water resources in the country.
The State Flood and Drought Relief Headquarters say to date, the drought has affected 15.8 million hectares of arable land. That's up nearly 3 million hectares from the same period last year. Authorities say the precipitation in the north of the country has been less than usual. As a result, the water storage volume at major reservoirs is below last year's level, posing threats to the water supply.
Zhang Zhitong, Deputy Director of State Flood and Drought Relief Headquarters said "Local authorities should take effective measures to make the best use of our limited water resources and guarantee water consumption for residents in urban and rural areas. The headquarters as well as the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Finance have allocated special funds to aid those areas seriously affected by the drought."
The latest weather forecasts indicate that compared with last year there will be less precipitation in the eastern, northeastern and northwestern parts of the country in March and April.