PHOTOS: Chinese coal company leaving local communities waterless

July 24, 2013

Zhang Dadi prays for rain in the middle of his corn field that he cannot irrigate in the Adaohai Number 1 Commune. He has a 150-meter deep well that he uses to irrigate his corn. 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 water table drops every year and it doesnt rain. Corn planted over a month ago still hasnt started to sprout. Haolebaoji, Inner Mongolia.

© Qiu Bo / Greenpeace

[caption id="attachment_19208" align="alignnone" width="600"]A Decade Of Struggle: The Ordos Grasslands Zhang Dadi prays for rain in the middle of his corn field that he cannot irrigate in the Adaohai Number 1 Commune. He has a 150-meter deep well that he uses to irrigate his corn. 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 water table drops every year and it doesnt rain. Corn planted over a month ago still hasnt started to sprout.[/caption] For ten years, the Chinese state-run organisation Shenhua Group, the world's biggest coal producer by volume, has sucked this land dry, exploiting water resources at a shocking scale from these beautiful grasslands to use in its coal-to-liquid project (also known as coal liquefaction, a process for producing liquid fuels 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. See more photos below showing the effects of the water shortage: [caption id="attachment_19210" align="alignnone" width="600"]Hand planted pine trees that surround the Shenhua Ordos Coal to Liquid facility have died due to lack of water. Hand planted pine trees that surround the Shenhua Ordos Coal to Liquid facility have died due to lack of water.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_19216" align="alignnone" width="600"]Hundreds of trees that line this stream have died due to the nightly dumping of waste water by Shenhua Coal to Liquid and Chemical Project. Hundreds of trees that line this stream have died due to the nightly dumping of waste water by Shenhua Coal to Liquid and Chemical Project.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_19217" align="alignnone" width="600"]The Shenhua Coal to Liquid Project discharges waste water into the hills, letting it seep into the earth. The Shenhua Coal to Liquid Project discharges waste water into the hills, letting it seep into the earth.[/caption] Hundreds of trees that line this stream have died due to the nightly dumping of waste water by Shenhua Coal to Liquid and Chemical Project.Hundreds of trees that line this stream have died due to the nightly dumping of waste water by Shenhua Coal to Liquid and Chemical Project. [caption id="attachment_19213" align="alignnone" width="398"]Lin Bo in attempts to get some drinking water from his dry well. Lin Bo in attempts to get some drinking water from his dry well.[/caption]

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