This agricultural technician proudly demonstrates the difference between groundnuts produced in the old way and in the new. The bunch on the right was grown without plastic sheets, while the groundnuts on the left were raised using plastic sheets. - - Soil and Water Conservation in the Loess Region of China. The continuing erosion of China's Loess Plateau endangers both the local population and those living along the lower courses of the Huang Ho. The name itself, the Yellow River, describes its silt heavy waters. The river is, in fact, silting up at an alarming rate in the lower sections, at between 3 and 10 cm a year. Dikes have to be strengthened and heightened yearly as the threat of disastrous floods mounts. In some areas, the flood level of the river is already 3 to 8 m above the surrounding land. Broken dikes and floods, sweeping away crops and innumerable lives, are a constant menace to residents along the lower Huang Ho. Up river, in the Loess Plateau itself, the inhabitants see their livelihood washing away as meticulously cultivated fields erode down the slopes and gullies under summer rains. They unwittingly aid this erosion by their traditional ways of working the earth. Their sheep and goats also contribute too this destruction by hungrily scavenging the barren hillsides for whatever vegetation remains. Mihizi County is a good example of conditions in the Loess Region of the Huang Ho River basin. The Chinese Government, UNDP and FAO have cooperated on a project (CPR/80/020) to analyse the situation and the problem in the country and to set up an experiment station for comprehensive erosion control. The station is also a training school and plays a major role in the planned land-transformation programme of the entire Loess area.