China News Service, Beijing, March 18 (Reporter Chen Su) The reporter learned from the Ministry of Water Resources of China on the 18th that parts of southern China suffered severe drought last winter and spring. So far, a total of 470,000 rural residents have difficulty drinking water due to drought.

  Since the winter of last year, some areas in southern China have continued to suffer from low rainfall and serious shortages of water storage in reservoirs, leading to persistent droughts.

As of now, statistics show that 1.11 million mu of arable land has been affected by drought across the country, and 470,000 rural residents and 120,000 large livestock have difficulty drinking water due to drought. The normal water supply of individual cities and towns has been affected, mainly in Yunnan, Guangdong, Guangxi, Shanxi and other places.

  Since February, there have been several heavy rainfall processes in the south, which have improved the soil moisture in the arid areas in the south, and the storage of reservoirs and ponds has been replenished to a certain extent. In addition, the drought relief emergency water source project built in the arid areas has played a role, and the drought in the south has been alleviated. The drought situation in Zhejiang, Fujian, Hunan, Jiangxi and other provinces has basically been lifted, but the drought situation in some areas still persists due to relatively small rainfall.

  According to forecasts by the Meteorological Department, precipitation in Jiangnan, South China, and Southwest China will be less this spring (March to May), and drought conditions in parts of the south may rebound again.

  On March 17, the Ministry of Water Resources held a business meeting to analyze and judge the country’s rain, water, drought, and reservoir water storage conditions, and arrange the deployment of residents’ drinking water safety guarantees and drought relief and spring irrigation work. At the same time, it sent two working groups to Yunnan and Sichuan provinces. Assist and guide local governments to do a good job in drought relief.

  The meeting pointed out that it is necessary to fully recognize the major impact of severe drought on people’s livelihood, make every effort to ensure the safety of drinking water for residents, comprehensively investigate the drinking water difficulties of residents in arid areas, timely revise and improve the urban and rural life water supply guarantee plan, and adopt various drought-resistant measures according to local conditions. Pay attention to the water demand of people in poverty-stricken areas, and spare no effort to guarantee basic domestic water.

While retaining enough domestic water for residents, we will do everything possible to meet the water demand for agricultural irrigation in spring and provide water sources for a bumper grain harvest.

  The meeting pointed out that efforts should be made to improve drought management capabilities, accelerate the construction of a comprehensive drought monitoring and early warning platform, and gradually realize the integration of "air, space and ground" for drought monitoring, and provide reliable decision support for drought analysis.

Strengthen the preparation of emergency water dispatching plans for important water projects in the river basin, and improve the level of drought-resistant water supply dispatching.

  At present, some areas in the south are about to enter the flood season.

The Ministry of Water Resources proposed that it is necessary to strictly prevent the sudden turn of droughts and floods, and to prepare for flood prevention while doing a good job in fighting drought.