The arid Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwest China is getting more rainfall, according to a recent report by the regional water conservancy department.
The report said the region's total amount of runoff in 2001 was 102.4 billion cubic meters, an increase of 23 billion cubic meters over the average in the past 45 years.
Yang Qing, a regional weather bureau specialist, attributed the increase to more rainfall in the region, especially in mountainous areas, since 1996.
He said in the region's south, the average rainfall in recent years jumped 21.2 percent over that in the 1961-1990 period. In the region's north, the average rainfall in recent years rose 6.9 percent.
Yuan Yujiang, a researcher with the Xinjiang Weather Research Institute, said many lakes in the region had expanded in recent years as shown by satellite remote sensing pictures.
Local experts believe the increased runoff will help improve the environment in this dry region.
(Xinhua News Agency December 5, 2002)