China's Thirst for Water

Before heavy June rains ended one of the most severe droughts in the Yangtze River Basin in 60 years, farmers in Hubei Province warned of rice shortages because of late planting. Downriver, coal-fired power plants cut back electrical generation because coal-loaded barges couldn’t navigate the low waters. The Yangtze’s shallow depth and the utility industry’s weakened power output reflect both this spring’s unusual conditions and the growing resource confrontation China faces with water, energy and food.

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