The Image of the Crescent Moon Lake in Northwest China's Gansu Province. [File Photo]
An urgent project has been started to try restoring the water level of Yueyaquan, or the Crescent Moon Lake, in northwest China's Gansu Province.
According to Thursday's xinhuanet.com reports, the project will involve a total investment of 40 million yuan, or about US$5.3 million. The key part of the whole project which is designed to solve the lake water sinking problem will take about one year to finish. By the end of August, 2008 when it completes, the Crescent Moon Lake is expected to regain its vast waters.
Located at the northern foot of the Singing Sands Mountain, about 5 kilometers to the south of the city of Dunhuang, the Crescent Moon Lake is known as the first desert lake in the world. Having a history of over 2,000 years, the lake in China's Gobi Desert has been designated as a key national scenic area and one of the fourty best tourist destinations.
Unfortunately, however, the lake which originally had an area of 1.6 hectares has quickly decreased to its current less than half hectare area, due to continual environmental degradation and over-exploitation of underground water in its surrounding areas.
According to relevant records made in 1960, the average depth of the lake was about 5 meters, with a maximum depth of 7.5 meters. But In the following 40 years, the depth of lake continually declined to its present less than one meter.
A staff introduces the change of water level at side of Yueyaquan in northwest China's Gansu Province. [File Photo]
(CRI.cn July 27, 2007)