Beyond a Shadow of a Drought
China is enduring one of the worst droughts in its history, and many experts are worrying that the nation is running out of water for its 1.3 billion people. Some 400 of China’s 668 cities have declared water shortages, which means that taps may work only a few hours a day, if at all. At least 20 million Chinese citizens don’t have access to any running water, and another 200 million experience serious water rationing or shortages. To make matters worse, much of the freshwater that’s available is polluted. Northern China is also beset by the problem of desertification, with more than 900 square miles of land turning into desert each year, thanks to excessive grazing and logging. Overpopulation and climate change are also worsening the nation’s problems.