Xinjiang starts water diversion for China's longest inland river

(Xinhua) 15:58, March 22, 2024

URUMQI, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on Friday began discharging water from a reservoir into the Tarim River, China's longest inland river, as part of an ongoing ecological conservation project in the region.

The gates at the Daxihaizi Reservoir were opened, releasing a torrent of water into the Tarim River, which runs 1,321 km along the rim of the sparsely populated Tarim Basin.

According to the administration of the Tarim River basin, Friday's operation marked the first round of the 25th water diversion since the project started in 2000. Around 20 million cubic meters of water are due to be released in 15 days. The second round will begin in the summer.

From 2000 to 2023, about 9.83 billion cubic meters of water were discharged into the lower reaches of the Tarim River.

In previous decades, irrigation in the middle and upper reaches of the river put excessive pressure on water levels. By the early 1970s, the lower reaches had run dry, and the trees along its banks had all but disappeared.

Data from the project shows that the periodical release of water has alleviated ecological degradation in the target area. The groundwater level has risen, and the number and variety of animals and plants in the area have greatly increased.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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