Ecological restoration of polluted plain rivers within the Haihe river basin in China

W. Wang, X.Q. Tang, S.L. Huang, S.H. Zhang, C. Lin, D.W. Liu, H.J. Che, Q. Yang, M. Scholz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Haihe River basin is located in the north of China and has an area of 318,000 km. The region is politically important and economically advanced. For example, the Haihe River basin sustains a population of more than 120 million and generates a gross domestic production of approximately 2,600 billion Chinese Yuan. The ecological health of plain rivers within the Haihe River basin of China is questionable because of severe water shortages, considerable water, soil and air pollution, and the destruction of the natural river morphologies. It is therefore necessary to establish a generic and theoretical restoration methodology to guide river ecological restoration efforts in the future. Thirteen methodologies and technologies were selected from an existing suit of ecosystem restoration techniques currently applied to the Haihe River catchment. These technologies were further divided into three types: water quantity adjustment, water purification, and habitat improvement. The most suitable ecological restoration techniques were selected as a function of all three types. However, direct methods of addressing water quantity and quality problems were identified as critical for the success of future restoration efforts. Examples of the application of the conceptual ecological restoration model for the representative plain rivers Beiyunhe, Yongding and Wei, all located within the Haihe River Basin, are also assessed. The conceptual model provides practical solutions to pollution problems, is generic in nature, and could therefore be applied to other polluted watercourses in densely populated regions in the developed and developing world.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-357
Number of pages17
JournalWater, Air, & Soil Pollution
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2010


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