Difficult choice: water or power

Published: Friday 31 December 2004

River Dongjiang carries more s The prolonged severe drought in southern China's Guangdong province has forced authorities to order the closure of 100 hydroelectric plants to save water for farming. Electricity supply in the power-starved province would be further reduced by 1 million kilowatt following the move.

Water levels in the Dongjiang River, which sustains over 36 million people in the province, have dropped drastically in the drought, the worst in over 50 years. More than 730,000 hectares of crops have been affected. The administration has also ordered water rationing for factories and a tiered water pricing system. It plans to close water intensive industries and abandon water intensive crops if the situation worsens.

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