Olympic water province faces drought

Hebei province in north China, which will supply Beijing with much of its water for the Olympics, is suffering severe drought, Reuters reported on Tuesday, with half a million residents likely to suffer.

The province has long provided the arid capital’s residents with most of their water, but demand from Beijing during the Olympics is expected to spike by up to 30% above average, the report said.

Consequently, Hebei will be expect to supply an extra 300 million cubic metres of "back-up" supplies, but a lack of winter rain and snow has left some reservoirs dangerously low, Reuters reported state media as saying.

Since the start of winter, the report said, average precipitation across Hebei had been 60% below the long-term average.

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