3m face drinking water shortage

Updated: 2012-02-15 18:35


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BEIJING - More than 3 million people in China are facing a shortage of drinking water because of droughts, authorities said Wednesday.

The shortage was caused by a severe lack of precipitation since last autumn and insufficient water storage by water conservancy authorities in some parts of the country, said the Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.

The problem is most serious in southwest China's Yunnan province and north China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region, where 1.44 million and 580,000 people have been affected, respectively, the office said in a statement.

However, the amount of farmland and number of people affected by the drought are well below average in comparison to previous years, the office said.

As of Wednesday, droughts have affected 1.2 million hectares of farmland, mostly in west China's Gansu province, north China's Hebei province and Yunnan province.

A total of 3.13 million people and 2.53 million domesticated animals were experiencing drinking water shortages as of Wednesday, mainly in Yunnan and Inner Mongolia, according to the office.

The local government has channeled water from reservoirs, transferred water from other areas and dug more wells to meet basic demands for water, the office said.