China's Jiangsu Province Faces Worst Drought in Decades


by NTDTelevision

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China's Jiangsu province has often been prone to flooding. But this year, it's facing the worst drought in 50 years. And it's affecting more than 30 million people.

Across southern China, the ground is literally cracking under the worst drought in decades.

Xia Xiaosheng raises crabs in the eastern province of Jiangsu. But he's no longer able to make a living.

[Xia Xiaosheng, Crab Raiser]:
"We don't have enough water. No water means, no oxygen for crabs. So they just die. The crabs used to be this big. But they stopped growing, all because of lack of water."

And it's not just crab raisers that have been hit hard. Rice farmers, too, are struggling to irrigate their paddies, which normally need flooding.

[Song Yu, Flood and Drought Relief Worker]:
"Over 200 hectares of rice are grown in Jiangsu. That puts the water demand at 7 billion tons."

The Yangtze River is the key water source for all of Jiangsu province. But the combination of drought and more than 100 dams is wreaking havoc on farmland downstream.

The local weather bureau in Jiangsu says they don't expect any rainfall until mid-June.