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Hongze Lake in Jiangsu province has been facing its worst drought in decades as average precipitation has fallen significantly.
Precipitation from May to July in China"s fourth-largest freshwater lake only amounted to 19.5 centimeters, which was less than half what it was in previous years, according to the Jiangsu Water Resources Department.
Zhang Jinsong, deputy director of the department, said that the area witnessed the lowest amount of precipitation since 1949.
"About 3.94 billion cubic meters of water from the Yangtze River has been pumped into the lake so far this summer," Zhang said. "The lake has received a total of 11.2 billion cubic meters of water from other waters to guarantee local people"s livelihoods and maintain agricultural and industrial production."
The lake has shrunk by almost half, from 1,780 to 900 square kilometers, the department said.
A lack of rain has left the lake"s tributaries dried up. The Huai"an section of the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal is now closed after some 3,000 ships ran aground in shallow waters.
By Tuesday, the drought had affected the lives of more than 1,000 fishermen, costing them more than 97 million yuan ($14 million), according to the Jiangsu Fisheries Management Office.
Sun Hua, a fisherman living in one of the drought-stricken villages of Zhongyang township, said that the longer-than-expected drought has killed off most fish.
"We didn"t expect that the drought would last for months, so we didn"t catch the fish in time," Sun said. "Now we can do nothing but watch the fish die. The loss is enormous for our family."
Water supplies for millions of people might be affected if the drought continues, said Yin Xiuqiu, director of a water plant in Sihong county, Suqian.
"The water level of the lake drops by about 4 cm each day," he said. "The factory could function normally for no longer than 15 days if it keeps dropping at this rate."
He said that an outbreak of algae may occur if the drought continues, as has been forecast by the Jiangsu Meteorological Bureau. The bureau said on Thursday that Jiangsu will have no heavy rain for 10 days.
"The water quality will be worse with the death of aquatic plants and fish," Yin said. "But people don"t need to worry about tap water because the water resources department will use water from other rivers."nike just do it rubber wristbandscheap silicone bracelets canadawristbands silicone cheapbulk custom braceletsrubber bracelets canada