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Pictures | Mon Sep 23, 2013 | 6:25pm EDT

China's water crisis

<p>A truck drives along a road near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 19, 2013. Beijing blames climate change for wreaking havoc on scarce water resources, but critics say the country's headlong drive to build its industrial prowess and huge hydro projects are just as responsible. Hundreds of rivers have already vanished in northwestern Gansu, one of the country's driest regions. In the town of Minqin, residents said the problem was not new, with the nearby Shiyang river disappearing not because of temperature rises, but because a vast upstream reservoir built two decades ago to irrigate a large farm cut off their supply. REUTERS/Carlos Barria</p>

A truck drives along a road near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 19, 2013. Beijing blames climate change for wreaking havoc on scarce water resources, but critics say the country's headlong drive...more

A truck drives along a road near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 19, 2013. Beijing blames climate change for wreaking havoc on scarce water resources, but critics say the country's headlong drive to build its industrial prowess and huge hydro projects are just as responsible. Hundreds of rivers have already vanished in northwestern Gansu, one of the country's driest regions. In the town of Minqin, residents said the problem was not new, with the nearby Shiyang river disappearing not because of temperature rises, but because a vast upstream reservoir built two decades ago to irrigate a large farm cut off their supply. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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<p>A child stands in a field near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 20, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria</p>

A child stands in a field near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 20, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

A child stands in a field near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 20, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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<p>Desert is seen near a farming field on the outskirts of Minqin, Gansu province September 19, 2013.  REUTERS/Carlos Barria</p>

Desert is seen near a farming field on the outskirts of Minqin, Gansu province September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Desert is seen near a farming field on the outskirts of Minqin, Gansu province September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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<p>A woman works in a field near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 20, 2013.  REUTERS/Carlos Barria</p>

A woman works in a field near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 20, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

A woman works in a field near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 20, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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<p>A woman harvests cotton near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria</p>

A woman harvests cotton near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

A woman harvests cotton near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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<p>A woman takes a break as she harvests cotton near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria</p>

A woman takes a break as she harvests cotton near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

A woman takes a break as she harvests cotton near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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<p>A man works in a field near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 20, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria</p>

A man works in a field near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 20, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

A man works in a field near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 20, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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<p>Farmers remove a dead tree from a field near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 18, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria</p>

Farmers remove a dead tree from a field near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 18, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Farmers remove a dead tree from a field near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 18, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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<p>A farmer drives an electric tricycle across an irrigation canal near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 18, 2013.  REUTERS/Carlos Barria</p>

A farmer drives an electric tricycle across an irrigation canal near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 18, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

A farmer drives an electric tricycle across an irrigation canal near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 18, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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<p>A vendor sits at a local market in Minqin town, Gansu province September 18, 2013.  REUTERS/Carlos Barria</p>

A vendor sits at a local market in Minqin town, Gansu province September 18, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

A vendor sits at a local market in Minqin town, Gansu province September 18, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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<p>An irrigation canal is seen near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 18, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria</p>

An irrigation canal is seen near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 18, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

An irrigation canal is seen near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 18, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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<p>A general view of Hongyashan reservoir near Minqin town, Gansu province September 20, 2013.  REUTERS/Carlos Barria</p>

A general view of Hongyashan reservoir near Minqin town, Gansu province September 20, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

A general view of Hongyashan reservoir near Minqin town, Gansu province September 20, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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<p>Visitors look at the Hongyashan water reservoir on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 20, 2013.  REUTERS/Carlos Barria</p>

Visitors look at the Hongyashan water reservoir on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 20, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Visitors look at the Hongyashan water reservoir on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 20, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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<p>An irrigation canal is seen on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 20, 2013.  REUTERS/Carlos Barria</p>

An irrigation canal is seen on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 20, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

An irrigation canal is seen on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 20, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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<p>Water diverted from the Shiyang river is seen at the construction site of an artificial lake in Wuwei, Gansu province September 21, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria</p>

Water diverted from the Shiyang river is seen at the construction site of an artificial lake in Wuwei, Gansu province September 21, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Water diverted from the Shiyang river is seen at the construction site of an artificial lake in Wuwei, Gansu province September 21, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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<p>A section of the Shiyang river is seen next to a coal thermoelectric plant in Wuwei, Gansu province September 21, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria</p>

A section of the Shiyang river is seen next to a coal thermoelectric plant in Wuwei, Gansu province September 21, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

A section of the Shiyang river is seen next to a coal thermoelectric plant in Wuwei, Gansu province September 21, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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<p>An abandoned irrigation canal is seen near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 18, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria</p>

An abandoned irrigation canal is seen near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 18, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

An abandoned irrigation canal is seen near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 18, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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<p>An section of the dried up Shiyang river is seen on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 18, 2013.  REUTERS/Carlos Barria</p>

An section of the dried up Shiyang river is seen on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 18, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

An section of the dried up Shiyang river is seen on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 18, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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<p>Dead trees are seen near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria</p>

Dead trees are seen near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Dead trees are seen near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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<p>Remains of an abandon farm stand near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria</p>

Remains of an abandon farm stand near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Remains of an abandon farm stand near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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<p>Remains of an abandon farm stand near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria</p>

Remains of an abandon farm stand near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Remains of an abandon farm stand near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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<p>An animal skull lies on the ground at an abandon farm, near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 20, 2013.  REUTERS/Carlos Barria</p>

An animal skull lies on the ground at an abandon farm, near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 20, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

An animal skull lies on the ground at an abandon farm, near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 20, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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<p>Old luggage lies on the ground at an abandon farm, near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 20, 2013.   REUTERS/Carlos Barria</p>

Old luggage lies on the ground at an abandon farm, near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 20, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Old luggage lies on the ground at an abandon farm, near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 20, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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<p>A plant root lies on the bed of the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 18, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria</p>

A plant root lies on the bed of the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 18, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

A plant root lies on the bed of the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 18, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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<p>A glove lies on the ground at an abandon farm, near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria</p>

A glove lies on the ground at an abandon farm, near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

A glove lies on the ground at an abandon farm, near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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<p>A dry plant stump is seen an abandon farm, near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 20, 2013.  REUTERS/Carlos Barria</p>

A dry plant stump is seen an abandon farm, near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 20, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

A dry plant stump is seen an abandon farm, near the dried up Shiyang river on the outskirts of Minqin town, Gansu province September 20, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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<p>A dry slope is seen near the Shiyang river on the outskirts of Wuwei, Gansu province September 21, 2013.   REUTERS/Carlos Barria</p>

A dry slope is seen near the Shiyang river on the outskirts of Wuwei, Gansu province September 21, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

A dry slope is seen near the Shiyang river on the outskirts of Wuwei, Gansu province September 21, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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<p>The sun sets on an area of desert on the outskirts of Minqin town, in Gansu province September 20, 2013.  REUTERS/Carlos Barria</p>

The sun sets on an area of desert on the outskirts of Minqin town, in Gansu province September 20, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

The sun sets on an area of desert on the outskirts of Minqin town, in Gansu province September 20, 2013. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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