The history of the minqin country in china

Sand squalls have blanketed Beijing and other northern cities, leaving a stubborn yellow haze in the air and coating roads, buildings, cars and lungs.

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The government provides enough water to each farmer to cultivate 2. Social organizations have stepped up to fill this void and are now playing a critical role in local anti-desertification efforts. Header image: A local woman carries Saxaul saplings in a desert in Wuwei, Gansu province, April 5, When water started flowing through the canals towards the lake, farmers gathered to watch it go by, shocked that so much of the precious resource could be expended to build an artificial lake when their parched fields lay nearby. More than m people are expected to move into cities between now and They have also dug wells at a furious pace — 11, of them altogether, some reaching more than a thousand feet down. You may opt-out at any time. They have pleaded with cities on the upper reaches of the Shiyang to take less of its water. Rising sands have contributed to lower agricultural yields, driving more farmers to leave the area. At the top of their list is Qingtu lake.

In some places, sand dunes engulfed entire houses. Two years later, he established the SMVA with his business partner, Ma Junhe, to better facilitate such activities, apply for more funding, and initiate anti-desertification-related projects.

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But in the late s, government officials diverted the Shiyang river to construct the Hongyashan Reservoir in an effort to boost food production. It takes about three years to determine whether or not a given project is successful — the amount of time for saxaul plants to become fully rooted in the sand and able to survive without human-led watering efforts.

Today, the county — which is sandwiched between China's third- and fourth-largest deserts, the Badain Jaran and the Tengger, respectively — remains a geographically significant region in the battle against desertification.

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Desertification can occur when substandard topsoil becomes dry and sandy, and is blown around by the wind. Meanwhile, the depletion of the nearby Shiyang River beginning in the late s has caused further environmental degradation.

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Other efforts to ease the water shortages in northern China, such as the desalination plants springing up on the coast near Tianjin, are also expensive and consume large amounts of energy. Shi Shuzu, a resident of Songhe Village who is over 70 years old, has discovered methods to enable trees to survive in Minqin. Rising sands have contributed to lower agricultural yields, driving more farmers to leave the area. During the ill-fated Great Leap Forward in the late 's, Mao ordered construction of the giant Hongyashan reservoir near Minqin, which diverted the flow of the Shiyang River and runoff from the Qilian Mountains into an irrigation system. According to a World Bank report in , water problems cost China economic losses of 2. Weibo , a Twitter-like social network, is routinely filled with users sharing information about pollution violations. Projects to develop shale gas, for example, require large amounts of water for hydraulic fracking. The Shiyang and its offshoots had been its ecological lifeline. Up until recently, Minqin acted as a natural barrier between the deserts and the rest of the country. The economic problems are formidable, with the water shortage threatening to slam a brake on growth.

He has started an initiative in which he identifies, interviews, and observes successful local farmers before publicizing their best practices in a systematic but accessible format from which others can learn. The volume of water available determines how much energy can be developed in a certain place.

But while local officials have tried grandiose projects to rescue the outpost, environmentalists say it will probably have to be at least partly abandoned and returned to nature if the regional ecology is to be restored.

Expanding deserts and a severe drought are also making this a near-record year for dust storms carried east in the jet stream. In the area where Mr Wang lives, Minqin county, a former oasis in Gansu sandwiched between the vast deserts of Inner Mongolia, the problem is particularly severe.

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But soon after the reservoir was filled, Qingtu lake, the body of water downstream that had been at the heart of the Minqin oasis, dried up.

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Will the Desert Claim Minqin?