Good Practices

Water supplement for wetlands in the Yellow River Delta, China

Posted on: 21 Dec 2015 / Submitted by: zhangqiong
© Chunli Zhang

In the project 'Water supplement for wetlands in the Yellow River Delta', the Yellow River Delta National Nature Reserves Administration, in collaboration with project partners, has implemented climate change adaptation interventions in the Yellow River Delta, China.

Project interventions promote the restoration of degraded wetlands and enhance ecosystem functioning, specifically the recharge rate of water resources. The results of the project include inter alia: i) restored estuarine wetlands; ii) enhanced provisioning of wetland ecosystem goods and services; and iii) income generated through the ecotourism value chain.

Key lessons

  • Crises present opportunities to motivate for the reform of water management policies.
  • The trade-offs between in-stream versus consumptive water use can be understood through economic analyses of the benefits provided by ecosystem services versus water extraction.
  • Water management plans should account for the inherent variability of water inflows (environmental and climatic variability) and outflows (variability in water user behavior).
  • Centralized and nested water governance structures within catchment-wide management institutions can contribute to revisions of water allocations in response to variations in environmental conditions, scientific knowledge and societal values.

Although some positive results have been achieved with regards to water replenishment in estuarine wetland areas targeted by the project, further challenges remain, including inter alia:

  • The limited integration of ecological water replenishment measures into water diversion and management policies and mechanisms.
  • The extensive sedimentation in diversion channels continues to impede water replenishment.
  • Limitations in the water replenishment infrastructure in estuarine wetland areas.
  • The absence of a long-term institutional mechanism to promote ecological water replenishment in the estuarine areas.
Xiubo Yu