Water levels at the Poyang freshwater lake, the largest freshwater lake in China, have dropped to a historic low. This comes after months of drought that have affected normal life and economic activities. The water levels have dropped from 19.43 meters to 7.1 meters over the last three months.  

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Following this drastic change in water levels, the central Chinese province of Jiangxi declared a water supply red flag on Friday. Officials representing Jiangxi said that the water levels were at a historic low following an intense drought over the past three months.

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According to the Jiangxi Water Monitoring Centre, water levels are expected to drop even further in the coming days. While rainfall is still minimal, the experts hope for the best. According to the officials, precipitation within the region is still 60% lower than the previous year.

In August, 267 weather monitoring stations across China reported historic temperatures. The long dry spell along the Yangtze river basin has not only affected the water levels, but damaged hydropower and food production. Officials say that the harvest for the coming autumn will be way lower than anticipated. 

Drought has been experienced in many parts of China but rains have started coming back. Heavy rains have relieved the drought in southwest China but the central region is still under intense drought. The dry conditions have been around for more than 70 days in Jiangxi and the situation does not look good. 

Reservoirs have dried to “dead pool” levels in Anhui province. In other words, the water levels are so low that they are unable to discharge water downstream.

To deal with the situation, some experts have proposed cloud seeding to divert water from elsewhere. As to whether this approach will help remedy the problem is a different discussion. 

Via Reuters

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