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River Health and Environmental Flow in China

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The River Health and Environmental Flow Project aimed to establish methods for assessing and improving river health and environmental flows in Chinese rivers. 

The project was part of the Australia-China Environment Development Partnership, a five-year program of the Australian and Chinese Governments, funded by AusAID. The project was undertaken in conjunction with the Chinese Ministry of Water Resources and Ministry of Environmental Protection.

Pilot studies were completed in three river basins: 

Detailed river health and environmental flow assessments were completed in the three pilot rivers. Based on this work, a recommended environmental flow regime was identified for each river and a river health report card was prepared. The results were used to make national recommendations, including draft guidelines for river health assessment and a national environmental flows framework.

The project developed a method for assessing river health based on changes to hydrology. A software tool – Flow Health – can be downloaded and used to automatically undertake the assessment. 

Significant training activities were also carried out to improve the capacity of Chinese water managers in the fields of river health and environmental flow assessment.

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Basin map 

 

 

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