Yellow River to Keep Running in Lower Reach This Winter: Experts

The Yellow River, the second longest river in China, will not dry up in the lower reach this winter, which will mark an interruption in the decade long seasonal water shortage in the region, said experts with the Yellow River Water Conservation Committee.

The river's drought season, which usually happens at this time of year, has not given a sign so far. Experts with the water regulatory department believe that the drying of the river is very much unlikely in the later period of the winter, because of the high level of water in the Xiaolangdi Reservoir in the middle reach of the river.

The dam's current water storage has reached 500 million cubic meters, close to the highest level recorded this year. It is enough to ensure the continued flow of the river in case of a drought.

The dam discharges an average water flow of 510 cubic meters per second daily for this month. The last hydrological station at the lower reach of the river recorded an averaged flow of 240 cubic meters per second in December.

The Yellow River originates in northwestern Qinghai Province and runs through nine provinces and autonomous regions to a total length of 5,464 kilometers.

Sustained drought since 1990 has led to a sharp decrease in water flow in the upper reaches, causing some sections of the river to go dry in the lower reaches. Sections of the Yellow River dried up for as long as 226 days in 1997.

With the approval of the State Council, the Yellow River Water Conservation Committee was jointly set up by the State Development Planning Commission and the Ministry of Water Resources in 1997 to regulate the controlled use of water in order to alleviate water shortages at the lower reaches of the river.

With its scientific management, the river's dry period was shortened by about 100 days to 42 days in 1999, compared with the previous year. The achievement was made even with the year's river flowing amount reduced by 100 million cubic meters recorded in 1998.

The regulation has greatly alleviated the winter drought in Hebei, Shandong provinces and Tianjin Municipality located in the lower reaches of the river.

People's Daily Online ---