Chinese Poyang Lake threatened by over-exploitation (and drought)
Friday, January 6, 2012 10:36:08 AM
The surface area has shrunk to 183 km². Persistent droughts for more than a decade caused by lack of rainfall in the upper reaches of the 5 feeding rivers have been blamed for the lake’s shrinkage. Human activity is, however, also partially to blame for the shrinking lake. Multiple construction projects have sprung up around the lake, including an international resort and commercial buildings. Some areas of the lake have been filled in to create more room for construction. A park near the village of Hedong was built by filling in part of the lake and building on top of it. People who live near Poyang Lake have become accustomed to seeing the lakebed partially exposed and fishing boats stranded in the past 10 years. The annual per capita income of fishermen in Poyang Lake fell to 1/4 of previous years. Water supplies in nearby cities are under pressure due to the shrinking lake.