China wants to use limited water resources to generate power, while irrigating farmland, while also diverting 45 billion cubic tons each year to supply the northern cities.
The hydropower leg of that stool is breaking, with a 25% year-over-year decline, according to Industrial Info:
Because of drought conditions throughout China, the country’s hydropower output was 56.87 billion kilowatt-hours in September 2011, a drop of 24.5% year over year, which was 9.9 percentage points more than the decline in the previous month, according to a statement issued by the National Development and Reform Commission announced on October 14.
At the end of September, total usable water storage in key hydropower plants nationwide was 104.9 billion cubic meters, a decline of 18.5% year over year; the stored energy value was equal to 28.1 billion kilowatt-hours, a drop of 36% year over year. Total usable water storage and the corresponding energy value within the coverage of the state grid was 97.1 billion cubic meters and 19.6 billion kilowatt-hours, a drop of 8.9% and 10.43% year over year, respectively; the total usable water storage and the corresponding energy value within the coverage of the China Southern Grid was 7.8 billion cubic meters and 8.5 billion kilowatt-hours, a drop of 64.9% and 61.4% year over year, respectively.