China declared on being in a water emergency state. Eight provinces of the country are suffering a serious drought that has left nearly 4 million people without proper drinking water and is threatening millions of acres of crops.
The dry spell eastern China is threatening water supplies too. It has been called a drought rarely seen in history, as it is the region’s most severe in 60 years. Some of the most affected products have been sugarcane, rice and coffee crops. And people's reaction was calling on government to locate money for relief work.
In Shandong province the situation is the worst. Two million hectares, meaning 56% of its own production, are about to be lost. And in Beijing, it has been more than three months without seeing a single drop of water from rain.
Textile producers are also worried.
Several solutions have been proposed:
Chinese government has considered bringing water from Yellow River by drawing a channel length of 500 kilometers to the north. This would transfer 300 million cubic meters of water. Still, Beijing would need 190 million cubic meters a year to satisfy its inhabitants needs.
Another proposal is what a farming specialist from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences suggested: potato is more drought-resistant than rice and wheat, which suits China better as 60% of the country's arable land is dry.
In your opinion, what would the be your "best" solution? Maybe we should go to the very roots of the problem first ... TH!NK about it!
(Andrea Arzaba, January 2011)