ZHENGZHOU, Henan: The 35.2-billion-yuan Xiaolangdi Water-Control Project on the Yellow River in Henan province is helping to improve the eco-system and environment downstream, officials said yesterday.
The scheme, supposedly the largest on the river, was started in 1994 to manage levels at more than 92 percent of the river's basin areas, 90 percent of its water flow and its total sediment downstream.
"The project played a big role in securing the health of the river and rehabilitating its eco-system and environment downstream, where millions of residents would earlier suffer from catastrophic floods," Sun Xianzhong, an official with the Ministry of Water Resources, said yesterday.
A State appraisal of the project is scheduled for completion today, Sun said. A draft of the appraisal released yesterday said both soil erosion control and environment protection tasks were carried out by managers of the project.
More than 85 percent of soil erosion caused by the construction was brought under control by treating the massive waste slag it left. To make up for the vegetation damaged in 85 percent of the area, over 1.5 million trees were planted.
The water-control project helped hold the river's massive seasonal floodwaters in a dam, reducing destructive floods downstream from once in 60 years to once every 1,000 years, said Zhang Lixin, chief engineer of the Xiaolangdi Multipurpose Dam Project.
The area, he said, did not see floods for nine consecutive years.
The project began storing water since 1999 and supplying more than 187.7 billion cu m of the same period.
The natural vegetation was recovered and increased in up to 4,238 hectares of wetlands in the Yellow River estuary and at least 52,000 hectares of bulrush flourished.
As many as 407 species of wild flora and 14 species of China's rare trees are now growing in the major natural reserves of the Yellow River Delta.