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A research center dedicated to water resources study and management of the Tarim River was set up in Xinjiang on August 1 to provide better protection to the River Basin.

The center, named “Research Center for Ecological Protection and Water Resources Management of the Tarim River Basin”, will focus on key scientific problems in water resources and ecology protection of the river basin, as well as research on management and optimal allocation of water resources of Tarim River.

The Center was jointly established by the Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography (XIEG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Tarim River Basin Bureau. Both sides signed a cooperation agreement to work together on research and protection of the river.

"Establishment of the center will help find better solutions to problems such as water ecology, water environment, water pollution, and groundwater overdraft in the Tarim River basin,” said ZHANG Yuanming, vice director of XIEG.

Running over 1,321km across Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, the Tarim River is China’s longest inland river. It is the principal river of the Tarim Basin, a desert region of Central Asia between the Tian Shan and Kunlun Mountains.

With a total area of 1.02 million km2, the Tarim River Basin is home to nearly 10 million Uyghur and other ethnic minorities. Water resources from the Tarim River mainstream and its tributaries are vital for both human development and the region’s ecosystems.

The Tarim River Basin sustains more than a third of China’s cotton production, however, 37% of the areas in the River Basin are under 'extremely high' water stress, according to the Aqueduct Global Water Risk Map of World Resources Institute in 2013.

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