Asia's biggest desert reservoir undergoes expansion projectUpdated: 2016-11-30
By Ge Jieru ( chinadaily.com.cn )
Asia’s biggest desert reservoir, Hongyashan Reservoir, has received a top up to its water reserves, courtesy of the Yellow River.
The reservoir is located in Gansu’s Minqin county, which sits between the encroaching sands of two desert fronts: the Tengger and the Badain Jaran.
To prevent desertification and ensure much needed water supply to the remaining villagers and farmers in the county, authorities have diverted a total of 1 billion cubic meters of water from the Yellow River since 2001, according to official statistics.
Since Qingtu Lake dried up in 1959 after source water from Shiyang River was over consumed, the reservoir has been a lifeline supply for residents in in Minqin county.
In February, Gansu authorities announced they would expand the reservoir, which was built in 1958, by 49 percent. An estimated one third of the lake’s original volume has been filled with sedimentary deposits, leaving less water for irrigation and household use.
After transferring water from the Yellow River, the water quality and ecological environment of Hongyashan Reservoir has improved.
According to Zhong Longshan, director of Hongyashan Reservoir, water from the Yellow River has transformed the reservoir into a scenic spot.
“It has also become a playground for birds. In spring and summer, over 10,000 water birds gather here,” Zhong added.
Located on the middle reaches of Shiyanghe River, the reservoir expansion project will also help ease the desertification in the lower reaches where two deserts merge, according to the provincial water resources department.
The reservoir expansion project is expected to be completed in 2018.
Edited by Jacob Hooson