URUMQI - The hydro dam of the Aratax water conservation project, dubbed as the "Three Gorges" project in southwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region due to its magnificence and difficulty in construction, has been built to tame the Yarkant River, according to the builder.
The 1,289-km-long Yarkant River in Tarim Basin is the most flood-prone river in Xinjiang, especially when the snow melts from the upstream Karakorum Mountain.
The towering dam standing in the Karakorum Mountain Valley can withstand the turbulent waves of the floods in a reservoir storage capacity of 2.2 billion cubic meters.
The Xinhua Hydropower Generation Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of the China National Nuclear Corporation, started the water conservation project construction in 2011, with a total investment of 10.98 billion yuan (1.5 billion US dollars).
The company said the Aratax project will play a comprehensive role in flood control, irrigation and power generation.
The river plain has a population of 4 million and an irrigated area of more than 6.5 million mu (433,333 ha.), which is the largest irrigated area in Xinjiang and the fourth largest in China.