BEIJING, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- China still faces the grim task of fighting a drought despite snowfalls and enhanced irrigation in major wheat growing regions, the country's drought relief authorities said on Saturday.
The drought is likely to continue to affect more crops, as the weather is getting warmer and the winter wheat needs large amounts of water when turning green, said Chen Lei, deputy director of the Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.
As of 3 p.m. Thursday, the drought had affected 101.28 million mu (6.75 million hectares) of crops, of which, about 15.06 million mu were severely affected. The drought also left 2.81 million people and 2.57 million livestock short of drinking water.
Chen noted that local governments should work to ensure adequate water for spring irrigation and ensure residents have access to clean drinking water.
The government has adopted measures to fight drought and boost grain production, including sending professional teams to guide drought-fighting efforts in affected areas and raising grain purchase prices.