Source: Xinhua Net, June 14 (Shen Yang and Guo Yuanming)
Monitoring data from Jiangxi Hydrographic Bureau on June, 13 at 4p.m. showed that the water level of the Xingzi station at Poyang Lake is 14.01 meters, the lake area is 2004 square kilometers, and the lake volume reached 3.921 billion cubic meters. All of those implied that the Poyang Lake recovered from a dry spell and recovered to its original state.
The state of China ’s largest freshwater lake, varies hugely in its flood and dry seasons, so much that the lake is a "vast body" during floods but a "flimsy line" during the dry season. Since this year’s drought during the spring and summer, Poyang Lake has already changed into a dry lake, and some parts of the lake has even become a vast grassland. Monitoring data from the Jiangxi Hydrographic Bureau showed that in 2011, the minimum surface area of Poyang Lake was 300.5 square kilometers, which was only 15% of the surface in a normal year. In May, nine lakes of Poyang Lake National Nature Reserve, which accounted for about 5% of the whole Poyang Lake , almost dried up.
Drought in Poyang Lake had a significant impact on its aquatic resources. According to the Jiangxi Fishery Department, drought during this year had already impacted the local fishes in Poyang Lake to the extent that they have hardly laid any eggs. It has also caused the direct death of some other fish, shrimp, crab and shellfish. In the coming 1 to 3 years, the number of fish will decrease even more and further affect fishermen’s income.
Director Tan Guoliang from the Jiangxi Hydrographic Bureau said that in early June, the water in five main rivers increased and that the water level of the Poyang Lake rose rapidly. At 4 p.m. on June 13, the water level of the Xingzi station at Poyang Lake was 14.01 meters, which indicates an increase of 3.7 meters from the water level of 8a.m. on June 1. The lake area was 2004 square kilometers, and the lake volume reached 3.921 billion cubic meters. All of those implied that the Poyang Lake returned to its original state after the dry spell. However, the water level of the Xingzi station was 1.83 meters lower than the average level at the same time during past years, which was 15.84 meters, and it was 1.47 meters lower than the level of 15.48 meters in 1963.
As designated by the World Wildlife Fund, Poyang Lake, China’s largest freshwater lake is an ecological area of global importance, and the only member of the World Life Lakes Nets in China. The lake is also an important wetland, and it is the largest habitat for winter migrating birds in Asia.
Translation team: Mei Yunna and Laurens Bistervels (Kunming, Yunnan province, China)