PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2004, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (1): 30-37.doi: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2004.01.004

• Original Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A Case Study on Characteristics and Countermeasures of Environmental Degradation in the Heihe River Basin, Northwestern China

QI Shanzhong, WANG Tao, LUO Fang, LUO Wanyin, GUO Jian   

  1. Key Laboratory of Desert and Desertification, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
  • Received:2003-11-01 Revised:2003-12-01 Online:2004-01-24 Published:2004-01-24


The Heihe River Basin, located in the northwestern China, is an area of typical arid to semiarid features. During the last century, especially the last half century, mankind’s production activities have caused lots of detrimental environmental degradation problems in this basin. Environmental degradation has become a great threat to the whole basin for the future and it requires great effort and resources to ameliorate. Based on investigation and previous studies, the authors found that the main consequences of environmental degradation in Heihe River Basin were water environmental changes, land desertification, soil salinization and vegetation degeneracy, which were mainly resulted from the misuse of water resources by human’s activities. For environmentally and socially sustainable development, there is an urgent need to promote awareness and understanding of the natural, socioeconomic systems at local levels. Understanding the current status and causes of environmental degradation is very important. This paper reveals the important aspects of environmental degradation in Heihe River Basin of northwestern China and suggests possible solutions that may help to ameliorate the situation.

Key words: arid area of northwest China, countermeasures, eco-environmental degradation, Heihe River Basin