Reseach area of the oasis project is "the Heife River Basin", which is located in the Gansu Province and the Inner Mongolia District. Latitude of the area is 38-42 degree North. The Heife river originates from the Qilian Mountains in the south of the area, which are over 5000 m in elevation, and flowing to the Gobi desert in the north part of the area.This region has been an important trade route between the East and the West, and also a major route for traffic between northern nomadic and southern agricultural cultures.

Location of the Heife River Basin

The total area of the Heife River basin is 130,000 km2,which is the second largest inner river basin in China.Annual precipitation of the area is approximetely 300-500 mm in the mountain area, 30-50 in the desert area.The basin can be classified into three areas: the mountain area (upstream), the irrigation area (middle stream), and desert area (down stream).

[Photos of Heife River Basin is here]

Map of Heife River Basin

The region has been inhabited by various ethnic groups who have different religions, cultures, and lifestyles. In the present Heihe river basin, stock farmers (Yugu people) live in the mountains, agricultural people (Han people) live in the oasis area, and nomadic people (Mongolian people) live in the Gobi-desert. The lifestyles of these people have drastically changed with changes in natural environment and government policy. In particular, the recent water shortage greatly impacts the local people and destroys their traditional lifestyles.

Schematic map of Heife River Basin

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