Is global warming starting to affect our water supply?
In China, global warming is one of the factors blamed for the recent shortages.
As rainfall hit dangerous lows within the past months, so has the water height of some of the country’s most utilized rivers.
The Yangtze River, China’s longest river, has dropped to about 17 feet in height and is being monitored by the government for maritime safety regulations.
The declining height of the Yangtze is, unsurprisingly, causing problems on several fronts.
Well over half of China’s rice paddies are fed by this river.
And for China, that would be a big loss.
Much of the country’s hydroelectric power also depends on this river, the result of which is electricity shortages and immediate demand for other forms of electricity.
According to Bloomberg, China cut its diesel exports in half in May in order to supply its own fuel.
Coal imports are also increasing to help offset the loss of hydroelectric capacity, as well as the impact drought has had on domestic coal transportation.
China’s Three Gorges Dam has begun discharging water to replenish the drying Yangtze.
It can’t rectify all of the problems, but it can temporarily prevent the levels from getting too much lower.
And it can feed those valuable rice paddies.
Hongze Lake has also decreased 16%, causing history to resurface – literally.
A mausoleum that houses the ancestors to the Ming Dynasty lies at the bottom of the river, and for the first time in over 300 years it has emerged.
It is a fascinating sight to see, and yet the surfacing of the mausoleum has put its contents at risk for grave robbing and vandalizing.
The government has been attempting to manually refill the area with water, replacing the natural security guard.
Another danger of the lack of rainfall is a lack of freshwater for both people and livestock.
The Chenhang Reservoir in Shanghai, put in place for such an occasion, is out of commission because of a saltwater intrusion.
Luckily, the government has backups.
The Qingcaosha Reservoir will, in the coming weeks, provide for the areas that were left dry due to the lack of output of the Chenhang Reservoir.
The government has promised to make clean tap water available.
A promise that about 4 million people will be counting on.
That and a forecast of rain.
That’s all for now,