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Thirst for coal adds to China's water woes

Published on Aug 14, 2012 2:02 PM

BEIJING - China looks to slake its thirst for energy by opening more coal mines, but experts say this will worsen the woes of a country already facing water shortages.

The world's largest coal producer had outlined plans to add 14 bases to add an output of 2.165 trillion tonnes by 2015.

"However, the grand strategy is doomed to meet an unavoidable bottleneck: water scarcity," said Greenpeace East Asia in a report unveiled on Tuesday morning.

In particular, plans to mine China's arid northern regions, which have 42 per cent of the country's people but only 8 per cent of its water, will leave people there high and dry, the group warned.

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