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Its Largest Lake Is So Dry, China Digs Deep to Water Crops

In this aerial photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, water flows through channels in the lake bed of Poyang Lake, China's largest freshwater lake, in eastern China's Jiangxi Province, Monday, Aug. 22, 2022. With China's biggest freshwater lake dried to historic lows by drought, work crews are digging trenches to keep water flowing to irrigate crops. (Wan Xiang/Xinhua via AP)

In this aerial photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, water flows through channels in the lake bed of Poyang Lake, China's largest freshwater lake, in eastern China's Jiangxi Province, Monday, Aug. 22, 2022. With China's biggest freshwater lake dried to historic lows by drought, work crews are digging trenches to keep water flowing to irrigate crops. (Wan Xiang/Xinhua via AP)

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Beijing (AP) -- With China's biggest freshwater lake reduced to just 25% of its usual size by a severe drought, work crews are digging trenches to keep water flowing to one of the country's key rice-growing regions.

The dramatic decline of Poyang Lake in the landlocked southeastern province of Jiangxi had otherwise cut off irrigation channels to nearby farmlands. The crews, using excavators to dig trenches, only work after dark because of the extreme daytime heat, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.