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Flood refills dried reservoir in north China, bringing hope for harvest

08-03-2011 15:42 BJT Special Report:Floods and Droughts of Summer 2011 |

HOHHOT, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- Flood water has refilled Asia's largest desert reservoir of Molimiao, or Moli Temple, in Tongliao of north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, which had been completely dry for two years.

Several downpours since July 22 have triggered floods on the Laoha and Xiliao rivers, which replenished 200 million cubic meters of water to four reservoirs in Tongliao, including the Moli Temple Reservoir, located in the sandy Horqin area, said Liu Guangchun, head of the Tongliao municipal headquarters of flood control.

The man-made reservoir with a water storage capacity of 152 million cubic meters had a section of its embankment breached during the floods, inundating houses and farmland, he said.

"Although flood water caused damages, it gave us a rare chance to refill the reservoirs," he said.

He said water resources departments have deployed emergent operations to dam the water.

Agricultural authorities said that now having the reservoir water for irrigation, a grain harvest of 6.5 billion kg, representing a year-on-year increase of 1.5 billion kg, could be expected this year if no significant natural disaster, such as an early frost occurs in the remaining months.

Dubbed as the northeastern barn of China, Tongliao produces one-fourth of the grain output in Inner Mongolia. But the city has to rely on tapping underground water for irrigating its 1.2 million hectares of farmland as the city's major reservoirs went dry.

Liu said the level of underground water has dropped by four meters on average in the past five years because of the excessive exploitation.

He said this year's flood crest was the largest since 1998, which helped restore the lake landscape in the Moli Temple Reservoir, which used to produce 250,000 kg of fish a year before it went dry.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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