News of the WeekEcology

Severe Drought Puts Spotlight on Chinese Dams

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Science  12 Mar 2010:
Vol. 327, Issue 5971, pp. 1311
DOI: 10.1126/science.327.5971.1311

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Summary

Southwest China's monsoon-driven climate doesn't bring much precipitation in autumn and winter. But this year's dry season—coupled with a late start and early end to last year's rainy season—has left the region parched. Environmental groups in Thailand and elsewhere lay at least part of the blame on China's doorstep. They claim that China's management of a series of dams on the Lancang River has aggravated the unfolding crisis. Yet Chinese engineers and some other scientists say the criticism is unfounded.