This time last year, Kunming's days were sunny and pleasant with no rain. But there was a dark lining to the weeks and months of cloudless mornings and sun-drenched afternoons, as these were the early days of Kunming's worst drought in a century.
After starts and stops, Kunming has finally been getting some rain. So far this year, Kunming has received 25 percent more rain than the same period last year, with surrounding rural counties receiving slightly more, but officials say that's not enough.
Municipal water officials said that the recent rains that have fallen on Kunming and surrounding areas have generally been short and spotty, which has made it difficult for streams to form and flow into reservoirs.
Furthermore, when this year's first rains arrived, the city's water reserves were almost completely depleted – not a good situation for a city of five million.
This year's rains are not over, but the current water situation is not reassuring. As of October 9, Kunming had total water reserves of 1.03 billion cubic meters, or 94.19 million cubic meters less than last year.
The Songhuaba Reservoir north of Kunming is 28.1 percent less full now than one year ago, and the Yunlong Reservoir has 28.8 percent less water than in October of last year.
Unlike last year, city officials are openly discussing water supply concerns and calling for better water management strategies. Given today's news that Kunming is planning on absorbing 1.2 million residents from the surrounding countryside in the coming decade, improving local water management has become even more urgent.© Copyright 2005-2021 GoKunming.com all rights reserved. This material may not be republished, rewritten or redistributed without permission.