In central China's Henan Province, the drought is one of the most severe in history seen in the province.
In central China's Henan province, the drought is one of the most severe in history seen in the province.
Farmers in Jia County, Henan Province have the least amount of water for irrigation for 40 years. They can do no more than stand helplessly by, watching their crops wilt in the dry fields. The drought has brought near disaster to other parts of the province as well. The Baiguishan Reservoir, the major source of drinking water in Pingdingshan City, is at dead storage level.
"See, these are the peanuts that I grow. They should have been ripe by now. But they’re so small. Nothing in the hull. It’s really a huge loss for us," a farmer named Liu Guowang from Jia County said.
The impact of the drought, which began in June, is being felt across the province. At least a third of small reservoirs and more than half of small and medium-sized rivers have dried up.
According to the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters, precipitation in the province since June was 50 to 70 percent less than past averages.
The drought has affected more than 185,000 people, and about 900,666 hectares of farmland in the province has been damaged.
"We have launched an emergency response plan. We are now dredging rivers, pumping water and even transporting water from other regions. 5,000 motor-pumped wells are being used to irrigate the fields," Shi Haibo, Henan Flood Control & Drought Relief Headquarters inspector, said.
Farmers are calling for urgent help. People living in the big cities are also threatened by the drought. In the provincial capital, Zhengzhou City, there has been no tap water for 20 days.
The local government has asked people to conserve water. It has also decided to put the new Liuwan Water Plant into use ahead of time. Water supply for car wash businesses, commercial swimming pools and public baths has been cut off in the city. Major water-consuming enterprises have been ordered to restrict their consumption.