Participatory Ecohydrological Governance and Practices to Increase Water Values in Hongfeng Lake Area in Guizhou Province (China)




Demosite Location
Demosite Location


Demosite Location

Information about lithology/geochemistry:

The soil type in the Hongfeng Lake Catchment is dominated by yellow soil and lime soil. It is a tipical karstic lake in Southwest China.

Main Description

  • It is the largest karst artificial lake in the Guizhou plateau at present. It has a total area of 5567.34 hectares
  • Drinking water to Guiyang City with a population of over 3 million, hydropower, flood control, shipping, recreation, and commercial aquaculture are main functions of the lake

Conserve Ecohydrological processes in natural ecosystem


Enhance ecohydrological processes in novel ecosystem


Apply complementary Ecohydrological processes in high impacted system


This table presents the different categories of ecosystem services that ecosystem can provide, divided in:

Provisioning Services are ecosystem services that describe the material or energy outputs from ecosystems. They include food, water and other resources.

Food: Ecosystems provide the conditions for growing food. Food comes principally from managed agro-ecosystems but marine and freshwater systems or forests also provide food for human consumption. Wild foods from forests are often underestimated.

Fresh water: Ecosystems play a vital role in the global hydrological cycle, as they regulate the flow and purification of water. Vegetation and forests influence the quantity of water available locally.

Regulating Services are the services that ecosystems provide by acting as regulators eg. regulating the quality of air and soil or by providing flood and disease control.

Moderation of extreme events: Extreme weather events or natural hazards include floods, storms, tsunamis, avalanches and landslides. Ecosystems and living organisms create buffers against natural disasters, thereby preventing possible damage. For example, wetlands can soak up flood water whilst trees can stabilize slopes. Coral reefs and mangroves help protect coastlines from storm damage.

Ecosystem services "that are necessary for the production of all other ecosystem services". These include services such as nutrient recycling, primary production and soil formation.
Cultural Services corresponds nonmaterial benefits people obtain from ecosystems through spiritual enrichment, cognitive development, reflection, recreation, and aesthetic experiences.

Recreation and mental and physical health: Walking and playing sports in green space is not only a good form of physical exercise but also lets people relax. The role that green space plays in maintaining mental and physical health is increasingly being recognized, despite difficulties of measurement.

Tourism: Ecosystems and biodiversity play an important role for many kinds of tourism which in turn provides considerable economic benefits and is a vital source of income for many countries. In 2008 global earnings from tourism summed up to US$ 944 billion. Cultural and eco-tourism can also educate people about the importance of biological diversity.


Demosite Location
Life zone
Warm Temperate
Lower montane
Moist Forest

PPT(mm/yr): 1176.0

T(ºc): 14.0

Elevation of demosite: 1300.0 meters above sea level
Humidity: Sub-Humid
PETr (by year): 0.7

EH Principles

Quantification of the hydrological processes at catchment scale and mapping the impacts

Distribution of ecosystems and their relevant processes (ex: metabolism=water and nutrient uptake and retention; biomass production)

Ecological engineering (integration, dual regulation and biotechnologies in catchment scale for enhancement of ecological potential)


Filter-feeding fish to regulate water quality.


Higher aquatic plants to regulate water nutrient dynamics; Riparian shelterbelts to control soil erosion.


Ecological floating island; Constructed wetlands; Immobilized nitrogen cycling bacteria technology.

Ecohydrological Infrastructure

Hydrological simulation; Improved reservoir operation.

Hydrological Flow

Major Issues

  • Pollution caused by industry, agriculture fish cage aquaculture and urban sewage threatened the functions of the reservoir
  • Karst region had suffered from rocky desertification, due to land degradation, soil erosion and the decrease of land productivity
  • Water projects and water pollution in the watershed decereased biodiversity
  • Lake sediments are rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, organic matter and heavy metals, which are partially released and migrated to the overlying water body
  • The climate showed a warm and dry trend, and the continuous drought directly threatened the ecosystem
  • The traditional water culture of Buyi nationality is lacking in inheritance and promotion.
Which: Extinction of water culture and Sewage disposal, fish cage aquaculture and agricultural NPS caused eutrophication, which resulted in several sudden water quality deterioration events: Contaminated Sediment. Stony desertification

Social ecohydrological system

EH Objectives

Cultural Heritage

EH Methodology

  • Strictly control pollution sources and reduce the N and P loads into the lake

  • Strengthen land use planning and management

  • Use ecological principles and techniques to restore lake ecosystem

  • Establish water culture exhibition to promote traditional water culture.

Catchment Ecohydrological sub-system


  • To adopt ecohydrology as a tool for IWRM (Integrating various actors)

  • To educate and train the public

  • To maintain biodiversity

  • To inherit the traditional water culture of ethnic minorities.

  • Stakeholders

  • Local and provincial government

  • Research institutes

  • Private sectors

  • NGOs (minority groups)

  • Village committees.

  • Catchment Sociological sub-system


    • Diverse stakeholders involved made strong commitments on the governance of the lake to increase water values in its five functional areas: wetland conservation, restoration and reconstruction, publicity and education, reasonable utilization area and management

    Expected Outcomes

    • Water quality and ecosystem will be improved, and the economic value, ecological service value and social and cultural value of water resources will be enhanced.

    Latest Results

    • Transdisciplinary collaborations on ecohydrological engineering solutions, relocation, regulation on fishing and use of water

    • The publishment of nearly 500 papers on the ecohydrology of Hongfeng Lake.


    Yufeng LUO

    • UNESCO Office in Beijing

    Prof. Shahbaz Khan

    • UNESCO Beijing Office



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