China's second-largest freshwater lake ends prolonged dry season
Dongting, China's second-largest freshwater lake in central China's Hunan Province, has ended a rare 305-day dry season, local authorities said.
The water level at the lake's landmark Chenglingji hydrological station rebounded to 24.51 meters early Tuesday morning, higher than the low-water line of 24.5 meters, and is still rising, according to the Hunan Provincial Department of Water Resources.
Officials said the increased discharge of the upstream Three Gorges Reservoir helped replenish water in the lake that lies along the Yangtze, China's longest river.
Between last summer and this spring, the central province of Hunan was hit by the most severe drought since records began in 1961. Water levels in the lake have thus remained low for an extended period of time despite several rounds of heavy rain after the flood season began two months ago.
On May 31, the Chenglingji station measured its water level at 23.33 meters, the lowest level ever recorded in the same period.
Experts have called for heightened drought preparations as the flood season is also accompanied by hot weather, which will increase industrial and agricultural water use and may again threaten the lake's water storage.