Henan is experiencing its worst drought since 1951, with villagers in Ruzhou, a city in the midwest of the province, drawing lots to take water from wells, Zhengzhou Evening News reported on Wednesday.
"The wells have never dried up in the past 40 plus years and this is the first time that we have been unable to take water from them," Xing Jiangong, Party secretary of a village in Ruzhou, was quoted as saying by the report.
Xing said the village had been short of water for several months and those going down the wells to draw water were using small wooden dippers.
Villager Xing Rong said it took about half an hour to fill two barrels with water and villagers were standing in line all day. They reached an agreement to take water in turn, according to a sequence decided by drawing lots, Xing Rong said.
Local water authorities said drought has been reported for nine years out of 10 in Ruzhou. Most of the city's 26 reservoirs have dried up.