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Inner Mongolia in Northern China has been particularly affected by lengthy drought and creeping desertification. Near Dongsheng in an area known as Hong Hai Zai was a large lake with waters that harbored many fish caught and used by the local population. The lake dried completely in 1999, leaving a baked landscape on which only a few hardy plants now grow on saline soil. This digging deep into the former lake bed is an attempt to find a groundwater supply.