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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Water (Or Lack Thereof) In China

Some tidbits:
  • The underground water table is sinking about four feet a year. Municipal wells [in the City of Shijiazhuang] have already drained two-thirds of the local groundwater
  • The Communist Party, leery of depending on imports to feed the country, has long insisted on grain self-sufficiency. But growing so much grain consumes huge amounts of underground water in the North China Plain, which produces half the country’s wheat. Some scientists say farming in the rapidly urbanizing region should be restricted to protect endangered aquifers. Yet doing so could threaten the livelihoods of millions of farmers and cause a spike in international grain prices.
  • China’s disadvantage, compared with the United States, is that it has a smaller water supply yet almost five times as many people. China has about 7 percent of the world’s water resources and roughly 20 percent of its population. It also has a severe regional water imbalance, with about four-fifths of the water supply in the south.
  • Currently, Shijiazhuang dumps untreated wastewater into a canal that local farmers use to irrigate fields
Article here. Mulitmedia here.

posted by CASFS 2006 @ 8:28 PM

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