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Drought leaves 190,000 short of water in SW China

2011-02-21 20:01

CHONGQING - A four-month drought has left nearly 190,000 people short of drinking water in a county of Southwest China's Chongqing municipality, a local water conservancy official said Monday.

The county with 1.21 million people, located in the Yangtze's Three Gorges Dam area, reported little rain in winter and most of its reservoirs and wells are now empty, said Cheng Dexing, the county's water conservancy chief.

Shuikouxiang Township was among the first to suffer from the prolonged drought that started in October.

All its wells and ponds had dried up, leaving more than 9,000 villagers, including 3,000 primary and secondary school students, without adequate water supplies.

By Monday, water shortages had been reported in nearly 80 villages and 20 towns. "The drought could last until April," said Cheng.

He said the water conservancy bureau had sent water wagons to the drought-hit areas and were diverting water from bigger reservoirs in neighboring counties, hoping the worst would be over by the end of the month.

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