. Earth Science News .

Drought shrinks China's largest freshwater lake
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Jan 5, 2012

The long drought has left many of the lake's 10,000 fishing boats stranded in shallow waters. Photo courtesy XNA.

China's largest freshwater lake has shrunk to its smallest size in years due to drought, state media and officials said Thursday, endangering the ecology in the area and fishermen's livelihoods.

After a dry spell of more than a decade, Poyang Lake in east China's Jiangxi province is drying up fast as scant rainfall has sent water levels in the Gan River -- which feeds the lake -- to record lows, the Xinhua news agency said.

The lake's area was 183 square kilometres (73 square miles) Thursday, an official at the local hydrological bureau told AFP -- nearly half the average of 344 square kilometres recorded each year on this day since 1951.

"This year's level is very low," the official said, asking not to be named, adding there had been 65 percent less rainfall in the area since December compared to the average recorded at the same period over the past 60 years.

As large as 4,500 square kilometres when at full capacity -- more than six times the size of Singapore -- the lake is home to the migrating Siberian crane in winter and to a rare finless porpoise all year round.

The long drought has left many of the lake's 10,000 fishing boats stranded in shallow waters.

China is regularly affected by crippling dry spells. Last spring, authorities said a drought along the Yangtze river had affected more than 34 million people, leaving livestock without water and parching a major grain belt.

In December, Outlook -- an official Xinhua news agency weekly -- quoted the Yangtze Water Resources Commission as predicting an ongoing drought in the lake area and warning of a threat to the local ecology and economic development.

Citing local officials, the report said low water levels and a fishing ban in March and April implemented in 2002 had reduced the fishing season to three months a year, threatening local fishermen's livelihoods.

The annual per capita income of fishermen in Poyang Lake fell to 1,000 yuan ($160) in 2011 from as much as 4,000 yuan in previous years, state media has said.

Meanwhile, dwindling fish stocks will also affect the lake's half-a-million migratory birds, which will lose their source of food, Xinhua said.

Authorities plan to try and resolve the problem by putting 165 million fry into the lake, it added.

Related Links
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Data-driven tools cast geographical patterns of rainfall extremes in new light
Oak Ridge TN (SPX) Dec 21, 2011
Using statistical analysis methods to examine rainfall extremes in India, a team of researchers has made a discovery that resolves an ongoing debate in published findings and offers new insights. The study, initiated by Auroop Ganguly and colleagues at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, reports no evidence for uniformly increasing trends in rainfall extremes averaged over the entire Indian region. ... read more

Haitian PM says 2012 is year of reconstruction

Smart way of saving lives in natural disasters

Haiti commission recommends restoring army

16 dead in China as bus slides off bridge

Graphene offers protection from intense laser pulses

New materials remove CO2 from smokestacks, tailpipes and even the air

Light makes write for DNA information-storage device

Ultra-thin laptops set to dazzle CES gadget fair

Drought shrinks China's largest freshwater lake

Dolphins showing up on world dinner plates

Fisherman's gold: Shark fin hunt empties west African seas

Singapore supermarket chain to stop selling shark fin

'Dramatic' loss of harp seals amid warming: study

New species found in deep antarctic waters

China plans Tibetan plateau exploration

'Lost world' discovered around Antarctic vents

Thai elephant killed, mutilated 'for restaurants'

KFC owner clears final hurdle to buy China food chain

Stop abusing insecticides in rice

Paraguay emergency tackles cattle crisis

Netherlands evacuates hundreds as flood fears rise

Despair in small Brazil town submerged by floodwaters

Dike bursts in flood-hit Brazil, 4,000 evacuated

Italy's Mount Etna spewing ash clouds

$80 mn Chinese loan to Cape Verde for social housing

Kenyan jets kill '60 or more' Somali Islamist insurgents

G.Bissau to retire 400 troops under military reform

Fears Nigerian emergency decree will lead to military abuses

To Speed People Up, Human Leg Muscle Slows Down

Brain's Connective Cells Are Much More Than Glue

Commentary: Youth bulge

Spectacular fireworks ring in New Year


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement