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Yangtze water helps rice field droughts

By Hou Liqiang | | Updated: 2022-09-13 21:55
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The Ministry of Water Resources will release roughly another 1.8 billion cubic meters of water from the main reservoirs along the Yangtze River to help relieve the drought in the basin, at a time critical for rice growing.

The operation started at 8 am on Monday Sep 12, considering that mid-September is a critical time for irrigating rice in Yangtze's middle and lower reaches, said Vice-Minister Liu Weiping at a news conference on Tuesday.

The amount of water is enough to meet the water demands in Beijing, a city of almost 22 million residents, for over five months. On average, about 4 billion cubic meters of water is consumed in the capital every year.

"Forecasts show that the Yangtze basin will still receive comparatively less precipitation in middle and late September," he said. "The drought situation remains grim."

To cope with severe drought amid wide-spreading heat waves and low precipitation in the Yangtze basin since July, the ministry on Aug 16 started an operation to discharge almost 3.6 billion cubic meters of water from major reservoirs located in Yangtze's upper reaches and around the two major lakes Poyang and Dongting in the basin, Liu said.

Thanks to the previous operation, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Anhui and Jiangsu provinces managed to divert over 2.6 billion cubic meters of water from Yangtze, he said.

The diverted water not only benefited almost 13.9 million residents, that were troubled by water supply interruption, but also help guarantee irrigation to 1.9 million hectares of farmland, he said.

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