URUMQI, June 10 (Xinhua) -- China will spend 350 million yuan (about 53 million U.S. dollars) this year to clean up the largest salt lake in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
The money will be used to set up wastewater treatment plants in Ebinur Lake basin to reduce the density of pollutants in the water flowing into the lake and tributaries, according to the regional development and reform commission.
Located in the southwestern part of Junggar Basin, the lake used to boast a surface area of 1,250 square kilometers in 1950s. But it has shrunk to around 400 square kilometers due to increasing demand for water for irrigation and industry near the lake since 1970s.
The vast barren lake bed has resulted in regular sandstorms.
Home to a variety of endangered species, the lake was listed as a national nature reserve in 2007.