China's North-South water project under construction
1 March 2011 Last updated at 12:45 GMT
The Chinese government is spending $1bn (£600m) on emergency measures in an attempt to combat one of the most serious droughts in decades.
The drought has caused global wheat prices to rise because of fears that China's crop, the biggest in the world, could be damaged.
The north China plain, where many of the biggest cities and industries are found, is where the water is in shortest supply so the government is pressing ahead with a scheme to shift water northwards.
The BBC's Damian Grammaticas has been to see the construction of the North-South water project in which a giant series of canals and pipes will carry water from the Yangtze and Yellow rivers to Beijing.