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Chinese drought turns lake into a dry ocean of green grass

Eugene Hoshiko / AP

A fishing boat is left abandoned in the bottom of the dried-up Poyang Lake, a vast wetland turned dry by China's worst drought in decades, in Xingzi, Jiangxi Province on June 2.

The AP reports from XINGZI, China:

Tao Jingun's graceful wooden fishing boat sits atop a vast, shell-studded basin that was the bottom of Poyang Lake just months ago but now is a dry ocean of green grass because of China's worst drought in decades.

As Poyang shrinks to a tenth its usual size, crops wither and millions of people go thirsty, critics point to the gargantuan Three Gorges Dam as one cause, making it a symbol of the risks of the country's penchant for extreme engineering projects dating back to the Great Wall of China.

"This is the least water I've seen in over 30 years. There's nothing we can do," said Tao, a thin, congenial man who usually makes up to about $6,000 selling his annual catch from Poyang but this year expects to earn "basically nothing." Continue reading.