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Water Resources in Yunnan

Yunnan is an inland province with no coastal area, but it is rich in water volume, hence it has peculiar landscapes like rivers, lakes, springs, pools and glaciers. There are totally over 600 rivers, of all sizes on the land of Yunnan, which belong to the six rivers - Yantze River (Jinsha River), Zhujiang River (Nanpan River), Honghe River (Yuanjiang River), Lancang River (Mekong River), Nujiang River (Salween River), and Irrawaddy River, respectively - and run into either the Pacific Ocean or the Indian Ocean. All of the above-mentioned rivers are passing through Yunnan except for the Zhujiang River and the Honghe River which are sourced in Yunnan. Nujiang River, Lancang River, Red River, Ruili River (Irrawaddy River system) are international rivers, especially the Lancang River, which flows through Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, thus is called the "Oriental Danube River". It is extremely rare in the world for one province to have six river systems belonging to two oceans and four of them are international rivers. 


Also there are hundreds of plateau freshwater lakes in Yunnan, 37 of them exceed 1 km2, making the province to be the one with the largest number of lakes in China. And many of the lakes are known as "plateau pearl", famous both at home and abroad, e.g. Dianchi Lake, Yangzonghai Lake, Fuxian Lake, Xingyun Lake, Qilu Lake, Yilong Lake, Er'hai Lake, Chenghai Lake, and Lugu Lake. These lakes are mostly tectonic lakes formed by fracture downcast, thus with mountains at all sides, forming a fantastic lake and mountain picture. With clear water quality, it is good not only for fish and shrimp breeding, but also climate adjusting. The water of the lakes can be used for farmland irrigation and for boat transport, thus most of these lakes have become beautiful tourist attractions. 

  Springs are widely distributed in Yunnan, and hot springs alone exceed 1200, about one-third of the total number of the hot springs in the country, ranking the top in China. Almost every county in Yunnan has hot springs with large water volume. The annual hot water flow-out is about 360 million m3, ranking the second in the country. Here, you can find the famous "Hot Spring City" - Kunming, "Hot Water City" – Eryuan and "Hometown of Geothermal Energy" - Tengchong.