Water area of Poyang Lake gradually recovering
Global Times

The water area of Poyang Lake in East China's Jiangxi Province, China's largest freshwater lake, has been recovering gradually following months of drought in the region. The lake has seen its water level rise back above 8 meters, according to media reports. The expanded water area is expected to be helpful in easing the drought, an expert told the Global Times on Monday.

An aerial photo taken on September 23, 2022 shows the riverbed of Poyang Lake is exposed in Nanchang, East China's Jiangxi Province. (Photo: VCG)

The latest satellite remote monitoring shows the lake's main part and adjacent waters covered an area of 705 square kilometers on October 12, 70 percent smaller than a previously recorded area of 2,285 square kilometers, China Central Television reported on Monday. But compared with the smallest water area of 600 square kilometers monitored on October 2, the water area has started to increase, said the report.

At 5 pm on Monday, the water level at a key monitoring point in Poyang Lake stood at 8.05 meters, according to Jiangxi's hydrological monitoring center.

The lake's water level fell to a record low of 6.68 meters on October 4, according to media reports.

Due to a lack of rainfall in Jiangxi and the low water level of the main artery of the Yangtze River, the water level of Poyang Lake has fallen significantly, Ma Jun, director of the Beijing-based Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, told the Global Times on Monday.

The expanded water areas will be useful in "easing the environmental impact caused by the drought" in the region, as the expanded water areas are expected to "increase the water volume," which could ease some problems such as assisting in irrigation water supply, Ma said.

It's predicted that the province will be sunny and cloudy in the next few days, and there is still no effective precipitation expected, based on the data released by the local authorities on Saturday, according to media reports.

Ma said the agricultural irrigation and urban water supplies should be ensured in case there's no effective rainfall. Ma also noted that people should pay attention to saving water.

Jiangxi province in September issued a red alert for water supply for the first time after Poyang Lake saw its water level fall to the lowest ever recorded. The water level of Poyang Lake fell to 7.10 meters at 6 am on September 23 - the lowest since records began in 1951 - down from 19.43 meters on June 23, according to Jiangxi's hydrological monitoring center.

As part of Poyang Lake dried out and the lakebed was exposed to the air, some grasslands and sandy areas appeared. Also, a stone bridge built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) reappeared, according to media reports.