The Yellow River as it emerges out of the Qinghai Plateau. The Yellow River a primary source for agriculture and industry, currently is so overused that its flow often stops short of the sea. Northern China has for years suffered reduced river flows and quickly falling ground water levels. The problems with the Yellow River are just one example of a national water crisis. As China tries to pull millions of people away from the coastal mega cities it faces an even more difficult challenge in finding water in the even drier region of Xinjiang.