China's Record-Breaking Drought Continues to Worsen
According to reports from China, some officials from the National General Headquarters of Flood Prevention and Drought Resistance said that from 1999 to 2002, China has had the most serious and continuous drought since the founding of the nation. It has affected more than 20 provinces, the autonomous regions, and the municipalities. The total accumulated affected area for crops is 1.9 billion mu (Chinese unit of area: 1 mu=0.1647 acre), in which 1.2 billion mu of crops suffered disasters and 300 million mu of crops end up with no harvest at all. Due to the severe drought, some major and medium cities in northern China have been facing a shortage of water. This spring, the drought situation continues to spread. There are more than 250 million mu of crops suffering from drought and more than 10 million people having difficulty obtaining drinking water across China.
In Shandong Province, the tributaries are dry. The total area of crops suffering from drought across the province exceeds 15 million mu, and 6.25 million people are experiencing difficulty obtaining drinking water. Because of continuous and serious drought in Hebei Province, more than 50,000 mechanical wells have been abandoned, and 180,000 mechanical wells have insufficient water or no water at all. At present, the entire province has 46 million mu of crops suffering from drought and 3.03 million people having difficulty obtaining drinking water. In Jilin Province, the main grain production area, the serious drought has caused all small reservoirs in the entire province to be completely dry. The large-scale reservoirs are reduced to 40% of storage capacity. Farmland has dropped in production and in some cases there is no production, which means that nearly 4 million farm households lack the grain that they need.
The provinces and cities in the lower reaches of the Yellow River are seriously arid. This area is also short of water, especially in the provinces in the upper reaches of the Yellow River. Because of drought and scarce rain and snow, this marks the lowest amount of water from the upper reaches of the Yellow River in the last 50 years. A large area of flood land has been revealed. The source of water between Longyang gorge and Liujia gorge in the upstream area of the Yellow River was reduced by more than 50% compared with the same time in past years. In one year, the water table in Longyang gorge has been reduced by approximately 4 billion cubic meters!
At the same time that the Yellow River valley and the northeast area have spring drought, in southern China, which is always known as "the flooding area," people are also experiencing a shortage of water, even though they live along the Yangtze River. Some official from the Ministry of Water Conservation said that the Yangtze River has reached its lowest water level in 16 years.
[Editors' note: Throughout history, the theme that a nation's fate is closely tied to the virtue of its leaders and people has been prevalent in both Chinese and Western culture and lore. Many wise, virtuous rulers have led their nations to peace and prosperity, while conversely, moral decay in high places has led to the downfall of great empires. These articles are meant to serve as a reminder and wake-up call for those who are leading or participating in large-scale acts of violence and injustice. As Teacher Li Hongzhi said in Essentials for Further Advancement, "When people do not have virtue, natural calamities and man-made disasters will abound."]