Western Japan faces serious drought

SHIKOKU, Nov 09 (News On Japan) - Dams in western Japan are in a critical situation due to record low rainfall.

In Ehime Prefecture, Kanogawa Dam is completely dry as of Nov 9, when normally at this time of year the water level is about 40%.

Last month, Ozu City received only 21 millimeters of rain, one-sixth of the average, the lowest for October in recorded history.

Kanogawa Dam management commented, "Typically in September and October, the Shikoku region is hit by typhoons, but this year we had none of that rain. We prepare for typhoons by lowering the water level for 'flood control,' but subsequent rainfall is hard to predict."

The Kanogawa Dam, which plays a role in regulating the water level of surrounding rivers, is expected to affect daily life if the rain does not come.

Water intake restrictions have begun in a wide area centering on western Japan, including Yamaguchi and Kyoto prefectures, due to less rainfall and reduced water storage rates in the dams.

Farmers in Ozu City have suffered significant damage. Taro fields, which are just entering the shipping season, present a scene far from the "fruitful autumn" expected. This year, most have grown only to half the size of previous years. Sales are expected to decrease by more than 30%.

The lack of rain is also causing problems for farmers growing broccoli, TV Asahi reports.