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Government Site Warns Alarming Soil Erosion

China’s Ministry of Water Resources website says that soil erosion has deprived the country of 1 million mu* of arable lands on a yearly basis. From 2001 to 2005, there were more than 150,000 squared kilometers of annual new land losses due to construction activities. Total land loss has amounted to 3.56 million squared kilometers, 37.1% the country’s size. If the trend continues, the 1.4 million mu of black soils in Northeast China will disappear in 50 years, causing a 40% drop in grain production; the lithified land in the southwest will double in 35 years, leaving 100 million people nowhere to stay.

Source: Xinhua, March 18, 2009

*mu is China’s traditional unit of measurement of areas. 1 mu = 666.7 squared meters.