According to a report from the Central Agency on April 7th and a report in today's issue of the Central Government's newspaper, The People's Daily, the shortage of water resources has become a major factor limiting sustained economic and societal development in China at the present time.

It was reported that China has been suffering from drought continuously over the past three years. This was especially true last year when the situation got worse. The incoming water volume dropped in rivers and lakes and the water level in the reservoirs decreased by 11% compared with that at same time in the year before. Over 300 million Mu (Chinese way of measuring ground surface area) are adversely affected by the drought, and 33 million people have had temporary difficulties in obtaining drinking water. For some cities it has been the most severe water deficiency situation since the party came to power.

Wujisong, the section manager of the Water Resource Section of the Water Resource Bureau, pointed out that water resource deficiency is the basic situation over the entire nation of China. One of the symptoms is that average volume of water resources per person is low. In China, the average volume of water resources per person is 2,200 cubic meters, which is only about one quarter of that in the world as a whole.