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Drought relief in full swing in north China to protect people's livelihood, grain harvesting
Xinhua
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Drought relief in full swing in north China to protect people's livelihood, grain harvesting

The Central Meteorological Observatory on June 16 continued to issue a yellow alert for high temperatures, maintaining the warning for the 10th consecutive day, as the drought spell has hit central and north China provinces including Henan and Hebei.

According to the observatory, 16 of the national weather stations have registered record-breaking daily high temperatures.

China's State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters on June 15 maintained a Level-IV emergency response to the drought spell in Hebei, Inner Mongolia, Shandong and Henan.

China has a four-tier flood-control emergency-response system, with Level I being the most severe response.

Xinhua's sources with the Shandong provincial water resources department said the province can ensure water for residential use and feeding livestock. It has taken various measures to guarantee the supply of agricultural irrigation water, while the wheat harvest is about to finish.

Since June, the average precipitation in Shandong has been 87.8 percent less than the average of the same period in previous years.

Yimeng Mountain area in central Shandong is one of the worst hit in the drought spell, which resulted from the lack of effective rainfall since spring and the scorching summer heat.

The local authority has adopted a cascade water supply plan from large, medium and small reservoirs in the area to ensure water for irrigation, while also actively guiding farmers to adopt measures such as drip irrigation, sprinkler irrigation and water-saving irrigation.

Linyi City which administrates the mountain area saw harvesting completed on the city's 4.39 million mu of wheat fields as of June 11.

To ensure the demand of water for drought relief, the Yellow River Water Conservancy Commission of the Ministry of Water Resources on Saturday increased the discharge from the Xiaolangdi Reservoir from 1,500 cubic meters per second to 1,800 cubic meters per second. The Xiaolangdi Reservoir is located along the Yellow River -- the country's second-longest river.

This followed the commission's decision to launch a level III emergency response for drought prevention in Henan.

Further north in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, farmers in Chifeng City replaced wheat planting with soybean and buckwheat, which consume less water for irrigation. Farmers in Xilin Gol League changed wheat growing to oats because of the lingering drought.

Yue Kun, deputy chief of the disaster assessment department of the Inner Mongolia ecological and agricultural meteorological center, said as of June 14, drought had affected 397,600 square km in the region, accounting for 40 percent of the total area of agriculture, forestry and animal husbandry in Inner Mongolia.

The regional agriculture and animal husbandry department has taken precautions and sent technical personnel to guide local authorities to combat the drought.  

Xinhualiu sha

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