Dried Out Farmland in Inner Mongolia

Photo | 18 March, 2014

Zhang Dadi, a farmer from the Adaohai Number 1 Commune, has a 150-meter deep well that he uses to irrigate his corn field. Last year he planted 20 mu of land, but could only irrigate 15 mu (1 hectare). This year he planted 15 mu but could only irrigate 8 and the remaining 7 mu didnt get irrigated. The groundwater levels drop every year and it also does not rain. Corn planted over a month ago still hasn't started to sprout. For ten years, the Chinese state-run organisation Shenhua Group, has been exploiting water resources at a shocking scale from the Ordos grasslands to use in its coal-to-liquid project (a process for producing liquid fuel from coal) and illegally dumping toxic industrial waste water. Shenhua's operations have sparked social unrest and caused severe ecological damage including desertification, impacting farmers and herders who are facing reduced water supplies in what was once an abundant farming area.

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