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Snowboarders walk on artificial snow at Wanlong Ski Resort in the Chongli district of Zhangjiakou, which is helping to host the Beijing Winter Olympics.

Snowboarders walk on artificial snow at Wanlong Ski Resort in the Chongli district of Zhangjiakou, which is helping to host the Beijing Winter Olympics.

Photographer: Andrea Verdelli/Bloomberg
Green
Climate Adaptation

China’s Fake Snow Frenzy for Beijing Olympics Strains Water Supplies

Skiers and snowboarders will compete in the first Winter Olympics to rely completely on artificial snow, further straining dry regions around Beijing.

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Weeks before the world’s best skiers and snowboarders descend on Zhangjiakou, a main site of the Beijing Winter Olympics, a dozen machines furiously churned out snow to cover the mountains they will race down.