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Drought threatens China's drinking water

Aug. 16, 2012 at 9:16 AM

CHONGQING, China, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- A drinking water shortage brought on by high temperatures and lack of rain is threatening thousands in central and southwest China, officials said.

China's Central Meteorological Observatory said the high temperature in Chongqing Municipality could reach 104 degrees in the coming days.

About 79,000 residents in the town are facing water shortages after a 20 percent to 60 percent year-on-year decrease in rainfall since June, the local flood control and drought relief office said.

About 520,000 residents and 160,000 livestock in Suizhou City in Hubei province are facing drinking water shortages after insufficient rainfall for 25 months, Xinhua reported Thursday.

A third of the land in Langhe Village in Suizhou is expected to yield no crops, village chief Lu Renfu said.

"Another one-third of the land will only yield 40 percent of what it should have produced," he added.

Renfu said the drought is the worst he's seen in his lifetime.

Government officials have urged the city of Chongqing to collect and store water from torrential rains expected in the upcoming flood season, Xinhua reported. The water can then be channeled to drought-hit areas.

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