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Sediment-catching dams boost agriculture in Shaanxi

By Xin Wen in Xi'an | | Updated: 2020-11-26 17:58
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Wei Xiaokang, deputy director of the Shaanxi Department of Water Resources (right), spoke at a news conference in Xi'an on Thursday. [Photo by Xin Wen/]

The construction of a sediment storage dam along the Yellow River, has greatly helped mitigate soil erosion and protected water resources on the Loess Plateau in Shaanxi province, a senior official with the Shaanxi Water Resources Department said on Thursday.

As of the end of last year, Shaanxi had improved the erosion situation of 55,000 square kilometers of the Loess Plateau, built 34, 000 silt storage dams and prevented the loss of 5 billion metric tons of sediment, Wei Xiaokang, deputy director of Shaanxi Water Resources Department, said at a news conference in Xi'an, Shaanxi province on Thursday.

"In recent years, soil erosion in the Yellow River Basin in Shaanxi has affected 100,000 square kilometers, which means we need to search for solutions from multiple areas in preventing the loss of water and soil," he said.

Since 2018, river chiefs at the provincial, city, county and township levels in Shaanxi have made 490,000 inspections of rivers and lakes in the area, greatly promoting the improvement of rivers, lakes, reservoirs and canals, Wei said. About 258 hectares of polluted water areas have been cleaned up and protected.

The construction of the sediment storage dam has prevented soil loss and protected water resources in the Yellow River Basin, resulting in increased grain production.

"Farmers were able to plant crops on the fertile sediment," Wei said. "As of the end of last year, production increased by 400 million kilograms."

"Over the next 15 years, 7,200 new sediment storage dams are planned along the Yellow River in Shaanxi," he said.

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