Guanting Reservoir is the first large scale reservoir which was built across Yongding River. It is located about 105 kilometers from Beijing and is belonging to Huailai County of Hebei Province. Yongding River flows through mostly loess soil area and resulted in high sediments level. Thus, Yongding River is also called “Xiao Huanghe,” which means Little Yellow River, by the locals.
Guanting Reservoir is built in 1951 in order to solve the heavy flooding disaster which frequently happened along the river. The project started in 1951 and was fully completed in May of 1954. The Guanting Reservoir is built at the entrance of Guanting Canyon. According to the history, this place used to be the work station of a minister who was in charge of checking daily water level back in Ming Dynasty. It got the name “Guanting” because this area was named as Guanting Village, and so was the reservoir. The reservoir not only plays a very important role in preventing the flood along the Yongding River, but also ensures the safety of two railway routes near it. The reservoir was one of the biggest sources of water supply to Beijing as well as to the farms nearby before 1997; however, it quitted due to heavy pollution from then. After taking environmental measures, it was reused as water supply of Beijing in 2007.
In recent years, landscapes surrounding the reservoir was redesigned and transformed into a scenic area. As a result, other than playing its role as a reservoir, it also serves as one of the most attracting scenic area in Zhangjiakou near Beijing. You can choose to ride a bike around the lake, go picking in the nearby gardens, enjoy the diverse ecological system of the reservoir, or have a delicious dish of Guanting fish.