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Worsening drought parches Guangdong
By Zheng Caixiong (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-11-22 11:38

GUANGZHOU: Drought is becoming even worse in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, threatening the province's late rice harvest, as well as other crops.

By Saturday, more than 730,000 hectares of farmland were reported to have been affected by the disaster, 20,000 hectares greater than the figure reported at the end of October.

And more than 36,667 hectares are barren, an increase of 2,667 hectares when compared with last month's data.

Some 85 cities and counties in Guangdong, or more than 80 per cent of the province's area, have been affected by the drought, according to an official from the Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Water Conservation yesterday.

Yesterday, quotas for water to Guangzhou, the provincial capital, the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, Dongguan, Huizhou and other cities in the eastern part of the Pearl River Delta have been reduced by 10 per cent because of the severe drought in the eastern part of the province, an official said.

The water flow on the Dongjiang River, a major tributary of the Pearl River, has witnessed a reduction of at least 80 per cent since autumn compared with last year.

The Dongjiang in the eastern part of the province provides drinking water to more than 36 million people.

The gap in water supply in the eastern part of Guangdong alone now reaches more than 500 million tons, the official told China Daily.

The cities where drought has hit hardest include Shaoguan, Qingyuan, Zhaoqing, Yunfu, Zhangjiang, Maoming and Meizhou in the western and northern parts of the Province.

To fight the drought more efficiently, the Guangdong provincial government is planning to establish a special task force to guide and co-ordinate anti-drought efforts to try to make rational use of the province's water resources.

Li Ronggen, vice-governor of Guangdong Province, has urged government departments and officials in the province to do what they can to ensure drinking water supplies to local people and domestic animals.

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