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Journal of Arid Land
Review Articles     
Restoring environmental flows and improving riparian ecosystem of Tarim River
JieBin ZHANG, GuiHua WU, QiMeng WANG, XiaoYan LI
Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Urumqi 830011, China
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Abstract  Rapid population growth and artificial oasis enlargement did pose great threat to the natural riparian ecosystems of Tarim River and caused seriously ecological deterioration and greater desertification of the Tarim River Basin in the second half of 20 century. Restoration of the endangered riparian ecosystem requires that environmental flow should be restored through restricted and uncontrolled flow diversion irrigation in tributary areas. Implementation of such restriction needs further the basin-wide reallocation of water resources through a set of engineering and non-engineering measures taken to ensure the water requirement in the tributary and maintain effective flows in Tarim River. As one of evolving HELP (Hydrology for Environment, Life and Policy) basins, the article first presents an overview of hydrology, socio-economic development and ecosystem evolution of the Tarim River Basin. Then, those measures for restoring and maintaining environmental flow are reviewed and analyzed along with its applicability and validity. The issues emerging in implementing those measures are also explored, and then the conclusions were summarized. Lessons learned could provide a good example for other basins under similar conditions.

Received: 12 August 2009      Published: 07 March 2010
Corresponding Authors: JieBin ZHANG     E-mail:
Cite this article:

JieBin ZHANG, GuiHua WU, QiMeng WANG, XiaoYan LI. Restoring environmental flows and improving riparian ecosystem of Tarim River. Journal of Arid Land, 2010, 2(1): 43-50.

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