• 1,791 wells dug in Yunnan to ease drought
  • CRI 2010-05-26 11:42 anonymous
  • (Low carbon net news) In drought-plagued Yunnan Province, 1,791 wells had been successfully dug and hit water as of May 24, supplying more than 2 million people in the southwestern Chinese province, China News Service reported on Wednesday.

    Li Lianju, vice director of the Provincial Department of Land and Resources, released those figures during a May 25 press conference on drought-relief projects.

    Since fall 2009, the worst drought in 100 years has been lingering in Yunnan Province. In January 2010, the provincial Department of Land and Resources invited a group of experts to look into digging for groundwater to ease the drought, Li said.

    On March 3, the province began the water excavation project, aiming to dig at least 1,000 wells across the province to provide water for up to 1 million people, he said.

    The project also won the support of China's Ministry of Land and Resources, which mobilized experts and technicians specializing in water detection from 13 provinces across the country.

    With the help of these talents, more than 2,000 wells have been dug in the thirsty province in the past three months, among which 1,791 have successfully hit water.

    In response to concerns about the environment and ecology, Li said his colleagues had considered those factors and concluded that the project would not impose a burden on local environment.

    Yunnan has abundant underground water resources, added Li. The volume of underground water that can be explored on a yearly basis in this province is about 39.3 billion cubic meters. At the same time, the new wells are scattered across different regions, so they will not lead to a sudden drop in underground water levels.

    Li admitted that the well-digging project is merely a temporary measure to ease the drought's effect. In order to fully curb the drought's impact, the province must build a comprehensive and long-term system composed of all kinds of facilities, among which those new wells will serve as backup water supplies during times of emergency.