The Subeinaoer Lake is surrounded by many 300 meter deep wells, extracting such large quantities of water that the lake's water level is regularly less than half meter. Recent rainfall has filled the lake with a few more centimeters of water. Bird species that used to populate in large numbers the area surrounding the lake, are much fewer now. The deep wells are needed due to the fact that 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.
© Bo Qiu / Greenpeace