County denies drinking water shortage

Updated: 2011-05-26 08:22

By Li Xinzhu (China Daily)

Twitter Facebook Myspace Yahoo! Linkedin Mixx

SHANGHAI - Water authorities in Xuyi county, Jiangsu province, have denied there is a drinking water shortage, although the lingering drought has greatly affected life of the locals.

A report by the Beijing Morning Post, which sent a reporting team to the county to cover the drought, said on Wednesday that the county has cut water supplies for several hours a day for more than two months. That has aroused wide concern around the country.

The report also mentioned the water level of Hongze Lake on the lower reaches of the Huaihe River is the lowest in 45 years.

Xuyi county is located at the south bank of the lake, the fourth largest fresh water lake in the country.

However, Ji Yufan, the director of the flood and drought control headquarters in Xuyi county, denied the link of limited water supplies to drought and said "the situation is much better".

County denies drinking water shortage

"Just worse than last year," Ji told China Daily on Wednesday. "We have enacted a series of drought-relief measures since February."

Ji said that they established two temporary water supply stations, capable of providing about 500,000 tons of water every day to town residents and farm workers who live in the area.

He also told China Daily that the drought is affecting the rural area more than the town.

"The lack of water supplies in town is caused by the current upgrading of the water supply system," he said.

"It's true, the water supply has been cut off for a few hours every day since Chinese New Year," said Zhang Yun, a staff member of the water and wastewater treatment department of the Xuyi water bureau.

"The current equipment is too old to provide enough water to residents," she said.

Zhang told China Daily that the water supply will return to normal at the beginning of June when new facilities are completed.

Local residents have been complaining about the restricted supply of drinking water.

"I don't have enough water to cook and shower," a netizen named guangchangshanshui in Xuyi posted on, a popular local forum. "What a water-efficient town."

Other residents have noticed that vegetables have increased in price.

"I think the price must be influenced by the drought," a netizen called Jiayuan wrote on the forum. "Lots of vegetables and fruit are more expensive than last year."

Xuyi is also very famous for its crayfish, a popular aquatic product in China. An international crayfish festival will be held in the county in June.

However, production has dropped a lot this year.

"June is the best time for crayfish, but I can hardly find any crayfish even though it's almost the end of May," said Gao Yong, a local businessman who often buys large amounts of crayfish as gifts for business partners.

"My friends in the crayfish business told me that the total amount of crayfish are only one-tenth of last year," he said.

"We are facing a severe shortage of crayfish supply," said a staff member surnamed Lu in Yang Si Crayfish Restaurant in Xuyi, a national chain store that specializes in the dish.

"The size and quality of the crayfish are not as good as last year," he said. "The drought is the main reason."

The water level in Hongze Lake on Wednesday dropped to a record low of 12.1 meters, almost the dead storage level, the local water conservancy department revealed.


Thawing out

After a deep freeze in sales during the recession, China’s air conditioner makers are bouncing back

Preview of the coming issue
Cool Iron lady
Of good and evil

European Edition


Memory lanes

Shanghai’s historic ALLEYS not just unique architecture but a way of life

Great expectations

Hong Kong-born singer songwriter rises to the top of the UK pops.

A diplomat of character

Belgian envoy draws on personal fascination to help build China ties.

Her story is history
Sino-US Dialogue
Drunk driving