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Sichuan rainstorms result in water shortage

China Daily | Updated: 2013-07-18 08:13

Zhou Yi, a resident of Shuangliu county in Sichuan province, turns on her bathroom faucet regularly to see whether water is available.

"The water supply has been unpredictable for six consecutive days now because of the rainstorms. Life is very inconvenient in the summer," Zhou said on Wednesday.

Four rainstorms have lashed Sichuan since June 18. Direct economic losses from floods have reached nearly 28 billion yuan ($4.6 billion).

"The floods from the rainstorm on July 9 alone caused direct economic losses of more than 20 billion yuan. Twenty-eight reservoirs were destroyed, affecting the water supply," said Hao Yuenan, a provincial information officer.

Since July 11, tap water has been available in Shuangliu for about only an hour at a time in the mornings, afternoons and evenings.

"Water is not supplied at a fixed time, and it smells like bleach," said Zhong Chuan, a resident of Huayang, a town in Shuangliu.

Luo Jiangping, an official at the Shuangliu bureau of water supply, said that the Minjiang Water Plant in Dongsheng, Shuangliu, which supplies the tap water for about 1 million county residents, cannot produce enough safe water because of the high sediment content in Zipingpu Reservoir, in the upper reaches of the Minjiang River, a tributary of the Yangtze River.

"There is too much sand in water from the reservoir," she said.

The reservoir, dealing with the area's largest floods in recent years, has been discharging sediment to ensure its own safety, said Ouyang Li, deputy chief of the reservoir's control center.

- Huang Zhiling

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