Water supply ‘red alert’ for China’s largest freshwater lake as drought continues

The central Chinese province of Jiangxi has declared a water supply a “red alert” for the first time after the Poyang freshwater lake, the country’s largest, shrunk to a record low.

Lake Poyang has been suffering from drought since June, with water levels at a key monitoring site dropping from 19.43 meters to 7.1 meters in the past three months.

The lake is normally an essential flood drain for the Yangtze, China’s longest river.

The Jiangxi Water Monitoring Center said Poyang’s water levels will drop even further in the coming days, with minimal rainfall still.

Rainfall since July is 60 percent lower than a year earlier, it said.

As many as 267 weather stations across China reported record temperatures in August, and a long dry spell in the Yangtze River basin severely curtailed hydropower production and damaged crop growth ahead of the fall harvest.

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