Xinjiang diverts floodwater to revive forests impacted by drought

(Xinhua) 09:57, April 10, 2024

URUMQI, April 9 (Xinhua) -- Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region plans to divert 510 million cubic meters of floodwater this year to replenish the water supply of the populus euphratica forests in the Tarim River Basin.

Last year, Xinjiang replenished this water supply by more than 1.1 billion cubic meters, which was 197 percent of its planned replenishment. According to the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, an approximate total forest area of 2.72 million mu (about 181,333 hectares) was irrigated via flood diversion activities, and vegetation coverage in the irrigated forest area increased 4.3 percent year on year.

The populus euphratica forests along the Tarim River, China's longest inland river, cover more than 10 million mu and make up the plant species' largest natural forest area, creating an important ecological barrier in southern Xinjiang.

Though the species is highly tolerant to drought, swathes of populus euphratica trees have died since the 1950s due to the overexploitation of water resources along the Tarim River, leading to a decline in water levels.

In 2019, Xinjiang launched a restoration project to revive the dying forests and enhance their natural restoration capabilities through flood diversion work.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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