Changsha sees solid progress in improving the ecology of small water bodies

By Zhu Bochen and Lun Xiaoxuan
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, October 13, 2019
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Since the introduction of the river and lake chief system in the past two years, Changsha, the capital city of central China's Hunan province, has established mechanisms to improve the environmental governance of small water bodies in the region. Currently, tangible results have been achieved due to these efforts.

Sewage treatment facilities outside Fusheng village. [Photo by Lun Xiaoxuan/China.com.cn]

Located in the lower reaches of the Xiangjiang River and the western edge of the Xiangliu Basin, Changsha is a key hub in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River.

There are 337 rivers, 14 lakes, and some 160,200 small water bodies such as ditches, ponds, and flushes in Changsha. The restoration of these bodies of waters have been implemented through the river and lake chief systems across four levels - from city and town to countryside and village. One of the examples in restoration efforts worth noting is in Fusheng Village.

Based on the concept of "controlling at the source, stopping along the path, and restoring at the end," Fusheng village has built a whole set of facilities throughout these three phrases to control its domestic sewage and improve the environment of its small water bodies.

To control sewage at the source, Fusheng village has improved its capacity of sorted treatment by using septic tanks, grease traps, and other facilities. The processed sewage is then filtered through natural wetlands and grasslands along its path. The sewage will then be further treated by mechanisms involving engineering and biotechnology to make sure that it meets the environmentally-acceptable standard of sewage discharge.

To improve the governance of the environment of small water bodies not only benefits the overal ecology of the area, but also improves people's living quality and contributes to the development of the rural economy. This is exactly the case with Longling village.

Due to the restoration of small water bodies, a pastoral farming model that combines the cultivation of the lotus plant and the farming of crayfish has become popular in Longling village.

As crayfish eat pests for food, the use of pesticides is reduced. In the meantime, hydrophytes such as the lotus plant adds aesthetic value to the overall landscape, and also improves the quality of small water bodies. This pastoral farming model thus incorporates both economic interests and aesthetic value.

The restoration of the ecology of small water bodies will be listed as one of the tangible benefits that the local government has brought to its people in 2019.

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