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By some estimates 400,000 people a year are driven from the homes because of water shortages.
China supports 20 percent of the world population with only 7 percent of is water.
The World Bank warns of “catastrophic consequences for future generations” caused by water shortages.
In some places the water shortages are so severe that once fertile farmland and grazing areas have been turned into dust bowls, drinking water is brought by the army in trucks, crops are watered by hand and farmers lay out plastic sheets to collect every last drop of water when there is rain.
A considerable proportion of its irrigation water comes from wells.
Officials in the Ministry of Water Resources and Electric Power (and its predecessors) have periodically proposed diverting water from the Yangtze to irrigate the North China Plain.