Yangtze River dries up due to drought in China, resulting in a hydroelectric shortage.
Yangtze River dries up due to drought in China, resulting in a hydroelectric shortage. With the south-west particularly hard impacted and with some of the mighty Yangtze drying up, there has been a nationwide notice issued.
Some rivers in China, notably parts of the Yangtze, have dried up due to a record-breaking drought, impacting electricity, suspending shipping. Considering that a severe heatwave in China’s densely populated south-west was expected to last well into September, a state-wide drought alert was issued on Friday. Sichuan, which derives more than 80% of its energy from hydropower, is in a “grave position” as a result of the reduction in water flow to China’s massive hydroelectric system.
The water flow to Sichuan’s hydropower reservoirs had decreased by half by Sunday, according to the provincial government, which proclaimed it to be at the most severe alert level of “very severe.” While this summer has seen a 25% spike in the demand for electricity, local media stated. Due to the scarcity, the province rationed public electricity use last week and stopped or reduced power supply to thousands of factories. Companies that reportedly briefly halted operations at some plants over the past two weeks include Toyota, Foxconn, and Tesla.
400 million Chinese people receive their drinking water from the Yangtze:
More than 400 million Chinese people receive their drinking water from the Yangtze, the third-largest river in the world, making it the most important waterway for the country’s economy. It also plays a significant role in the worldwide supply system, but last summer, the water levels there hit a record low, with large portions and numerous tributaries drying out. On the main trunk of the Yangtze, water flow is currently more than 50% below average over the last five years.
As the region prepares for the harvest season for water-intensive crops like rice and soy, authorities are hurrying to assure water and power supply throughout the affected regions of China.
The drought has caused more than 780,000 people to require direct government assistance, according to China’s ministry of emergency management. The emergency ministry reported last week that the high temperatures in July alone resulted in direct economic losses of 2.73 billion yuan ($400 million), affecting 5.5 million people.
Major rivers all around the world, including the Rhine and the Loire in Europe and the Colorado River in the US, are drying up as record-breaking heatwaves cause havoc. Future prospects appear grim since extreme weather events appear destined to occur more frequently.
Authorities in China have frequently blamed climate change for the drought and heatwave. The country’s national climate center’s chief forecaster, Chen Lijuan, last week referred to the warmth. We must accept the truth that future heatwaves will be frequent; they will become the new normal, said Chen.
Beijing’s climate change goals have come under pressure, though, as a result of the direct impact on electricity supplies. Vice-Premier Han Zheng stated last week that the government would increase subsidies for coal-fired power generation.
There are current alerts for high temperatures and little rain. On Sunday, the country as a whole received a red heat warning, the highest degree of concern, for the tenth day in a row.