Drought: China and Atlanta

I’m starting new categories for two of the major climate anomalies to watch: drought and flood. Here is a report of the drought in China:

Autumn rain down 90 percent in China rice belt (Reuters)

BEIJING (Reuters) – Large areas of south China are suffering from serious drought, with water levels on two major rivers in rice-growing provinces dropping to historic lows, state media said on Tuesday.

Rainfall since the beginning of October had dropped by 90 percent in Jiangxi and 86 percent in neighboring Hunan, the country’s largest rice-growing province, from average figures, Xinhua news agency said.

Rice is a staple for most Chinese and a crop which needs a constant supply of water

The Gan and Xiang rivers running through the two provinces had seen their lowest water levels in history, Xinhua said. The shallow water has caused a jam of barges in some sections of the Gan.

Authorities had rushed to ensure drinking water supplies in big cities along the rivers and irrigation of fields by diverting water from reservoirs and installing pumps, Xinhua said. (…)

The drought in the Atlanta region has been widely reported, but the social network that has grown around it is especially interesting: The

Atlanta water shortage blog, and the related
Atanta water shortage wiki.

On one hand its encouraging to see how internet information sources can spread information on water data (“how much is there”) and what to do to save water, but it’s also an indication of how close to the edge we are living (i.e., watching Lake Lanier go up and down by hundredths of an inch per day).

Other related audio news today: Peter Gleick on NPR’s Fresh Air talking about water issues.

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