The increasing intensity of the irrigation water diversion can also be seen from the dotted lines in Fig. 13. Water consumption increased more and more after 1980. Increase in the water demand and consumption by the industrial and service sectors is another reason for streamflow reduction in the Heihe River although they account for only around 10% of the total water use. China’s Afatinib national economic reform began in 1978, and new industrial sectors have grown greatly since then, which drive up the GDP
rapidly. The GDP of Zhangye (Fig. 14(a)) increased notably after 1985, reached 21.2 billion Yuan in 2010 (about 600 folds of the 1950). The industry gross output (Fig. 14(b)) also increased notably after 1985, reached 9.84 billion Yuan
in 2010. According to the government statistical information, the proportion of outputs from the agriculture, industry and services, respectively, was 72%, 7%, and 21% in 1952, 47%, 30%, and 23% in 1980, and 28%, 36%, and 36% in 2012. The rapid rise in industry and services sectors led to a tremendous increase in water demand (Wang et al., 2009). Water consumption in the middle HRB increased from 5.13 × 108 to 8.71 × 108 m3 per year from 1985 to 2001 (Qi and Luo, 2005). The rapid development of agriculture and growth of economy began in the early 1980s. The downward abrupt change in the streamflow of the Zhengyixia station started in 1979, and significant upward abrupt change of the streamflow difference between Yingluoxia and Zhengyixia started
in 1982. The consistency in the timing confirmed that the decrease in the streamflow of the Heihe River were mainly due to local agricultural and Gamma-secretase inhibitor economic development. For the middle and lower HRB where streamflow was greatly affected by human activities, the policy preference of the government was an important factor directly or indirectly contributing to streamflow changes. In the 1980s, the government desired to make the “Hexi Corridor” an important grain production base. The Resveratrol emphasis on grain production promoted the rapid advance of farming and irrigation projects. Unconstrained development resulted in streamflow being dried up in the lower HRB. The shortage of water for the lower HRB left people and the ecosystem in the downstream Gobi desert region to compete for limited water resources for survival. As a consequence, the fragile ecological system has been seriously damaged, and the conflict of water between the midstream and downstream became rampant. To restore the severely degraded ecosystem in the lower HRB, the government relied on water transfer projects to cope with water shortage. The central government had invested 2.3 billion Yuan to implement the EWDP in 2000. The increase in the streamflow to the downstream of HRB is a direct outcome of the EWDP. From 2000 to 2005, there had been 16 times of intermittent watering to the lower Heihe River with the total volume of 5.28 billion cubic meters (Guo et al., 2009).