TIAN'E, Guangxi - The worsening drought in southwest China could force the Longtan hydropower station, the country's second largest in operation, to halt power generation in another month, a company official said Tuesday.
The water level in the upper reservoir had been falling by 20 cm per day, said Chen Deqing, deputy chief of the hydropower station.
Chen said should the water level keep falling at the current speed, the power station would have to halt generation in about a month.
The plant generated 30 percent less electricity in 2009 than in normal years and 59 percent less in the first quarter of 2010 than in the same period last year.
Last year, it generated 13 billion kWh of electricity, which was mainly supplied to Guangxi and neighboring Guangdong province.
The worst drought in a century has affected 61.3 million people and 5 million hectares of crops in Guizhou, Yunnan, Sichuan, Chongqing, and Guangxi, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said last week.
The dry weather has also left 18 million residents and 11.7 million head of livestock thirsty for water and caused direct economic losses of 23.7 billion yuan ($3.5 billion).