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China's largest desert freshwater lake expands

China's largest desert freshwater lake

Beijing, March 19 (UITV/IANS)- China's largest desert freshwater lake expanded in 2016 for the first time in a decade, environment officials said on Sunday.

The surface area of the Hongjiannao lake, located in Shaanxi province, stood at 32.94 sq.km by the end of last year, up around 4.5 per cent year on year, Xinhua news agency reported.

The lake, sandwiched between the Muus desert in Shaanxi and the Erdos plateau in Inner Mongolia, saw its water level retreat by 30 to 60 cm a year since 2006.

In 2015, it shrank to less than 32 sq.km. At its largest, the lake covered 67 sq.km in 1969.

Significant increase in precipitation, including artificial rainfall, as well as more water from reservoirs upstream, contributed to the lake's expansion, the officials added.