Northern China suffers through worst drought in decades

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April 2 – The worst drought northern China has seen in decades is expected to continue this month the country’s weather administration said on Tuesday.

The administration forecast little rain in the coming days and stated that water should be set aside for drinking and farming.

Much of the northeast, Inner Mongolia, Beijing, Tianjing, and the surrounding province of Hebei have seen only 6.2 mm of rain this year, a 57-year low, China Meteorological Administration spokeswoman Jiao Meiyan.

The region normally sees 12.7 mm of precipitation by this time of year Ms. Jiao said.

“North China should set aside adequate water for farmland irrigation while ensuring drinking water supply in rural and urban areas,” she urged.
According to Xinhua, about 6 million hectares of arable land in Heilongjiang province in the northeast, or 51 per cent of the province’s total planted area, could face severe drought during the spring.

Heilongjiang is China’s largest supplier of commodity grains including corn, soybean, rice and wheat.

Across China, by March 26, 19.4 million hectares of arable land had been hit by the drought, including 3.3 million hectares of cropland. About 5.82 million people suffered from drinking water shortages.