Yangtze water levels at historic low

China’s longest river, the Yangtze, is suffering from a severe drought this year, with water levels in some areas falling to the lowest in 142 years, Reuters reported state media as saying on Thursday.

The hardest hit areas are in China’s humid south, where water levels on several other major rivers have reached historic lows in recent months.

“This year’s drought is rare… just days ago, I saw ship after ship running aground. I have never seen that before,” Li Changmin, a farmer from central Hubei province, was quoted as saying.

Drought and floods are perennial problems in China but meteorologists report increasingly extreme weather, pointing to global climate change as a culprit.

“Large amounts of water were stored at the Three Gorges Dam last month, which caused the flow volume in the river to fall 50 percent,” reported the China Daily. “But the Yangtze River Water Resource Commission said the drought has nothing to do with the dam.”

See full story