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China invests heavily in Tibet’s water projects

Updated: Mar 13,2016 11:04 PM     Xinhua

The central government poured 22.3 billion yuan ($ 3.44 billion) into water conservancy infrastructure of southwest China’s Tibet autonomous region in the past five years, according to local authorities.

The investment benefited about 1.8 million farmers and nomads by stabilizing grain output, as well as ensuring safe drinking water and power supply in remote areas, according to the regional’s water resources department.

From 2011 to 2015, Tibet saw its capacity of water supply increase by 700 million cubic meters. About 1.5 million mu (100,000 hectares) of irrigation areas were created or improved.

“Two thirds of my farmland now has irrigation ditches. This year, the yield of highland barley per mu is about 30 kg more than that of last year,” said Soinam Gyaebo from Gyangze county.

In addition, 773,000 rural residents, students and teachers and those in monasteries were provided with clean drinking water. Hydropower relieved 270,000 people of difficulty in accessing electricity.

Special terrain and climate on the plateau region are disadvantageous to agriculture. Eighty percent of rain in Tibet a year falls between June and September and 60 percent of its land is in the arid and semi-arid zones.

To combat frequent flash floods and torrential rain in summer, more than 1,600 km of embankments were built and over 1,300 km of river improved during the past five years.