The year 2002 was another rare drought year for Shandong province. The drought covered all four seasons. The agricultural damage from the drought has affected 54.2 million Mu [a Chinese unit of land measurement. 1 Mu = 0.165 Acre] in this province. Within this province, heavy drought has affected 13.5 million Mu. 80% of agricultural crops were affected by the drought, and many crops died in these areas. The drinking water supply for people and animals is endangered too. The Jining portion of the Jinghang Grand Canal stopped transportation for nearly 60 days. Dongping Lake in Heze city and Shifeng reservoir at Qimeng have both dried up. Several small reservoirs, rivers and dams throughout the province are almost completely dry as well.

The largest freshwater lakes in Northern China, generally referred to as the Nansi lakes (a combination of Weishan Lake, Shaoyang Lake, Dushan Lake and Nanyang Lake), are so low in level that the bottom is visible. The Nansi Lakes cover 1.81 million Mu and have the ability to store up to 500 million cubic feet of water, which accounts for 45% of the freshwater in Shandong province. Experts have determined that the economic loss caused by the draining of the Nansi Lakes will indeed be very great. However, the more frightening thing is that the drought has seriously damaged the flora and fauna of the Nansi Lakes. Once the food chain is damaged, it's hard to rehabilitate it in a short time.

Jinan city has been called the "Fountain City." In 2002, Jinan suffered the most serious drought since meteorological records have been kept. The underground water level kept dropping; as a result, the underground water level of "Fountain City" dropped to more than 3 meters below the water table of the fountains.

Shandong province's continuous heavy drought has reached into its 4th year. This extraordinarily severe drought is one of the three worst Shandong province has seen over the last 200 years. From 1999 to 2001, the underground water level dropped tremendously. During that period of time, the maximum drought areas were over 50 million Mu every year, and the cumulative reduction on grain production reached 12.8 million mu.

Last December, 9 million people were short of grain, so Shandong province opened up its grain warehouses and distributed grain to people. Water shortage is a threat to human lives, as well as to the stability of the society. Shandong has never felt the crisis brought about by water shortage before as strongly as this year.

From the traditional Chinese saying of "Heaven and human are linked", such calamities are caused by people's not acting according to the heavenly law. In China, during the period of the Cultural Revolution, there were 8 earthquakes, each over 7 on the Richter scale, each causing tremendous damage. Were they all coincidences? Those unusual calamities were due to people's behavior, and especially the evil actions of those in power.

This unusually heavy drought in Shandong province began in 1999 when the persecution of Falun Gong began. Shandong province has taken a leading position in the persecution. So far the number of practitioners persecuted to death there is the second highest in the country, reaching 76 deaths (as of Feb 16, 2003). Last summer, there was a very unusual phenomenon in Shandong province: it snowed in July. With the escalation and continuance of persecution, the Shandong drought is getting more and more severe.