China - Facing serious drought, crop damage

23.09.2022 120 views

As much of the U.S. struggles with drought this year, China is doing the same.

According to an AP News report, China has endured a scorching summer that is the country’s driest in six decades. The most-impacted area spans from the densely populated east coast, across the central farming provinces, and into eastern Tibet.

Reservoirs in the region have reportedly shrunk to half their normal levels. Parts of the massive Yangtze River and dozens of its tributaries have dried up, dramatically impacting the source of hydropower that normally is generated from dams.

In Sichuan province, which receives 80% of its electricity from hydropower, rolling blackouts have become the norm, and factories have been shut down to conserve energy. More than 800,000 people in the province also are reportedly facing drinking-water shortages.

Agricultural crops are suffering, with immediate concerns regarding fresh produce that normally would be heavily irrigated.

Grain crops also are in jeopardy, which prompted Chinese officials to announce chemical cloud-seeding in late August, in an attempt to increase rainfall in some regions. They also are spraying crops with water-retaining agents to reduce evaporation.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last spring, China now is relying more heavily on its own corn production, according to an article in The Guardian. A short crop in China would likely affect global grain markets by boosting demand for Chinese imports.

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