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Emergency flood and drought plans must be primed ready to go

China Daily | Updated: 2024-06-20 07:28
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A man paddles a raft along a flooded street in Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, on Tuesday. The local Lijiang River overflowed due to recent downpours, causing floods in some sections of the city. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Heavy rainfall continues to hit many parts of South China. Meanwhile, some parts of North China are reporting severe drought conditions. The central authorities have asked for an all-out response to the flood and drought conditions, saying utmost efforts should be made in the search for and rescue of missing and trapped persons and the resettlement of affected residents, while maintaining normal production and daily routines and minimizing disaster losses.

The central government announced on Tuesday the allocation of 443 million yuan ($61 million) to seven provinces in northern, central and eastern China in response to drought-induced damage to crops caused by prolonged heat and insufficient rainfall. The funds will be used to provide subsidies for agricultural drought-resistant measures to ensure the successful completion of the critical summer sowing stage.

It is a critical time in China now, when the seeds of the autumn crops are sowed, requiring huge quantities of water. If the ongoing drought conditions are not alleviated, crop output will be reduced or even wiped out, and water for domestic use and livestock will also be affected. Relevant departments should do all they can to avoid such a scenario.

First, weather monitoring and forecasting should be tightened and timely emergency responses should be launched. Given that drought resistance, irrigation and water supply involve multiple departments, water conservancy departments should not only have a full picture of the precipitation forecasts, and river inflow and water storage in reservoirs, but also strengthen communication and consultation with meteorological, agricultural and rural, emergency and other departments to put forward countermeasures in a timely manner.

Second, the water needs of various parties should be coordinated and the use of water source projects accurately managed. Considering water conservancy projects are effective means for flood control and drought resistance, the authorities should give full play to the role of water diversion projects, to guarantee irrigation for the crops. A plan should be formulated for diverting more water to the drought-hit areas in the North.

Third, to secure drinking water for people, relevant departments should analyze the impact of the drought on rural large-scale farming and livestock water use, and tap backup water sources to take care of their water needs.

The country has entered the flood and drought season and all localities should attach importance to flood control and drought alleviation measures and put in place emergency plans for flood and drought disaster prevention.


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