Asia’s largest desert reservoir to be expanded

Beijing, Feb 19 (IANS) The largest desert reservoir in Asia, Hongyashan, in China’s Gansu province, will expand its storage by 49 percent to ease desertification in region, authorities said on Friday.

The storage capacity of the reservoir on the middle reaches of the Shiyanghe River will be increased to 148 million cubic metres to ease desertification in the lower reaches where two deserts merge, Xinhua quoted the provincial water resources department as saying.

The reservoir will transmit 27.2 million cubic metres of water every year to the Qingtuhu Lake to meeting the demands of human activity and the natural environment.

The height of the dams will be increased, starting from this month and 117 hectares of trees will be planted by the reservoir for wind prevention and sand fixation, said the department.

The expansion is imperative because the reservoir, built in 1958, has accumulated 33.18 million cubic metres of sediment, a third of its storage capacity.

The region is one of the major sources of sand storms in China. The reservoir is vital to preventing desertification in the locality.

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