Prolonged hot weather has caused widespread drought in China. This greatly affects production activities, which the lockdowns have severely damaged.
According to AP, in China’s southwest, reservoirs stopped operating because of drying up, and a city imposed rolling blackouts. Due to no electricity, factories had to shut down.
The Sichuan government gave an order dated Aug 16 that “Leave power for the people.” The order led many companies in the province of 84 million people, including makers of solar panels, cement, and urea, to close or reduce production.
In Sichuan, the water levels at hydropower reservoirs this month are half of what they were before.
Dazhou, a city with 3.4 million people in Sichuan, this week has applied a 2.5-hour daily power cut. On Aug 17, this city increased the power cut time to 3 hours.
AP cited the Chinese government saying that hundreds of thousands of hectares (acres) of crops across China’s central and northern regions have wilted due to lack of water and high temperatures. Some localities have reported that agriculture has lost its crop this summer.
In addition to the prolonged hot weather, some regions in China have suffered from the opposite natural disasters: heavy rains and floods.
These, besides the Covid lockdown, are severely affecting the recovery of the Chinese economy. In the first half of this year, China’s economy grew by just 2.5%, less than half the official annual goal of 5.5%.