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Posted Sat Feb 14 2009: from The Economist:
Drought in northern China
...After 100 days without precipitation in the region, the government has declared a "Level 1" emergency for the worst drought in 50 years, authorising an extra 300m yuan ($44m) in special drought-relief spending. It will finance everything from cloud-seeding rockets to the digging of new wells and tankers to deliver water. This year's winter-wheat harvest is at risk. February 8th saw some rain, but only 5-10 millimetres, compared with 200mm farmers say they need in coming months. The drought comes at a difficult moment. The global downturn has hit China's exporters hard, and millions of rural migrants have lost their jobs in coastal factories and returned to their villages....China's water woes will only worsen, especially for farmers. When supplies tighten, urban and industrial users usually have priority. Ma Jun, a water specialist in Beijing, says that since the 1950s China has been digging ever deeper wells, and building ever more dams, canals, and water diversion projects. But all this has taken a toll. Because of lower water-tables and depleted aquifers, many rivers can no longer replenish themselves in the dry season.
[Read more stories about: aquifers depletion, water issues, weather extremes]

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Jose says: "I can tse it's going to get worse in China."
HarryP says: "Yeah, like, um, we should try and do something about it mao rather than later."

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'Doc Michael says:
My tung is so dry.

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