CCTV9英语新闻:Drought drags on in Shaanxi & Xinjiang

In Shaanxi Province and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regionin in northwest China, severe drought is taking its toll on farmlands and livestock. And the authorities are doing to better the situation.

In Shangnan County, Shaanxi Province, the only local water source — the Xianhe reservoir — is going through a severe water shortage that has left some 60,000 residents in the county struggling to make do.

"We need to reuse the water from washing, cleaning and cooking just to flush the toilets," Shangnan resident Yu Xia said.

The town’s tap water has been suspended for over a month because the drying of the reservoir and rivers.

Underground water levels have also declined drastically, with many residents reporting that their water wells are producing hardly any usable water.

The local government has been sending 30 trucks to draw water from a river located 20 kilometers away and, after treatment, deliver it to homes.

Meanwhile, in the Ili River Valley in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, precipitation is down by 50 percent since May, making it the most serious drought since 1952.

Grass production is also at less than half in a normal year. And parched grasslands mean hungry and thirsty livestock.

“This lamb is six or seven kilograms. In the same season in previous years, it would have been over twenty kilograms heavier and would have been sold for about one thousand yuan. But an animal this thin can only be sold for 500 yuan,” a local herder said.

The local government has raised more than 10 million yuan to purchase feed for the animals. But with any rainfall a long way off, things are expected to remain difficult for some time.