Algae bloom worsens drought

Published: Thursday 15 May 2008

A prolonged drought in China's Liaoning province has left 850,000 people short of drinking water and affected spring farming in many areas.

According to the provincial drought relief headquarters, from January to mid-April, the region received 20 millimetres of rainfall, which is 73 per cent less than normal years. The drought has dried up 74 reservoirs and affected 1.3 million hectares of cropland. Liaoning is China's top grain producer.

To worsen the situation in the country, an outbreak of algae has appeared in China's third largest lake Taihu, chocking water supplies to the Jiangsu province. A similar algal bloom last year forced authorities to cut water supplies to 2.3 million residents for days together. Authorities blame the recurrence of algae on pollution and warm weather.

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