China diverts river water to ease drought

Beijing, May 19: Water from China’s Yangtze river was diverted to central China’s Hunan and Hubei provinces Wednesday to ease drought in the region, an official said.

About 300,000 people living in the Huarong river valley near the city of Shishou in Hunan are facing difficulty in getting water, Xinhua quoted Xue Jianhua, an official, as saying.

The official said a dam has been constructed on the Yangtze and water is being diverted from it to the Huarong river.

The Huarong river recorded extremely low water levels Wednesday, and residents living near the river have had to deal with limited supplies of water.

Covering an area of 1,679 square km, the Huarong river runs into Hunan’s Dongting lake, China’s second-largest freshwater lake.

A drought has been affecting parts of central and southern China for more than four months, leaving residents and livestock without drinking water and drying up rivers across the region.

China’s Three Gorges Dam, the world’s largest hydroelectric power station, has been discharging larger amounts of water to help counter the severe drought in the lower reaches of the Yangtze river.