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China to transfer more water to its longest inland river

  URUMQI - About 1.2 billion cubic meters of water is expected to be discharged into the basin of the Tarim River, China's longest inland river, this year, to supply its lower reaches that dried up decades ago, local authorities said Monday.

  The far western Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region began water infusion to the river in late February and is expected to transfer more water in July, according to the regional water resources department.

  More than half of the water is expected to go to the main stream of Tarim River and the rest to Yarkant, Aksu and Hoten rivers, among others in the Tarim Basin, according to the department.

  Xinjiang has infused 7 billion cubic meters of water to the dry trunk stream of lower reaches of the Tarim River in 18 rounds of water diversion since 2000, making the local forest of desert polar, a tourist attraction.

  The Tarim River runs 1,321 kilometers along the rim of the barren Tarim Basin, a sparsely populated area about the size of Poland.

  Excessive irrigation in the past used too much water, which caused the river's lower reaches to run dry in the early 1970s and push the trees to the verge of disappearance.