Restoration of ecological corridors in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region


Groundwater Replenishment Solves The Safety Of Urban Water Supply

The Bohai Economic Rim is an emerging economic powerhouse of northern China that has undergone major economic and infrastructural changes in recent decades. Over the last few years, the region has been involved in heavy industry and manufacturing, which has taken a huge toll on the environment. The water resources of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region are very scarce, with the region having some of the most polluted waters in the country.

During the "13th FYP" the development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region became one of the national prioirities. Chinese Government adopted the integrated Water Pollution Prevention and Treatment Action Plan entailing measures for pollution reduction in ten priority industries, sewage treatment in urban and rural areas and ports; industrial restructuring and upgrading; water conservation through water efficiency improvement and technical support; use of market mechanisms; law enforcement; water environment improvement through total pollution load control, environmental risk assessment, and safeguard of water security. The Action Plan has set an ambitious target of cleaning 70% of the seven major rivers including Bohai and achieving that 93% of rivers become suitable for drinking water use. The extreme scarcity of regional water resources has led to the collapse of the water ecosystem, and to the phenomenon of rivers in the region “drying up”. For many years in a row, the total water resources of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region accounted for only about 0.5% of China's total water resources. The region is also facing serious wastewater pollution, with the Haihe River Basin being the most polluted watershed in China. Due to the lack of water resources in the region, reclaimed water has become the main source of replenishment.


During the 13th FYP period, the Water Special Research Group created for the first time a strategic framework named "three corridors, three areas, and three cities" that includes the corridors of Yongding River, North Canal, Baiyangdian-Daqing River, connecting Beijing, Tianjin, and Xiong’an. The framework addresses the difficulties in the construction of ecological corridors in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. A  set of technologies for the construction of ecological corridors has been proposed, including comprehensive wastewater and water resources management and landscape patterns for complex river basins.


Demonstration of the Restoration of the Yongding River's Ecological Corridor  


The Yongding River is the main ecological artery connecting the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. Accelerating the construction of the Yongding River's green ecological river corridor has received great attention from all parties on a national strategic level. In the “Overall Plan for the Comprehensive Management and Ecological Restoration of the Yongding River” issued in December 2016, the goal of the comprehensive management of the Yongding River Basin was put forward: to gradually restore the Yongding River to a “flowing green, clean and safe river.” Focusing on the country’s major strategic needs, in response to the extreme shortage of water resources in the Yongding River Basin, severe degradation of the water ecosystem, and instability of water quality, the management, and governance of water resources and wastewater in the river basin are all coordinated to form a major ecological corridor for the Yongding River. The first goal of the project was the unified optimal allocation and regulation of water resources in the basin, and the joint dispatch of water quality and quantity of multiple water sources, forming an ecological corridor with a river as the main axis. By September 2021, the Yongding River has achieved the first full-line water connection since 1996. The second goal was to control the river water quality and pollutant discharge, integrate the refined management of water quality targets in the basin by implementing micro-polluted water purification technology, and low-temperature river imitating natural cascade wetland nitrogen and phosphorus reduction technology to ensure that the water quality of Guanting Reservoir is stable and meets the water quality requirements of the high-standard events, such as the Beijing Winter Olympics.


Demonstration of the Restoration of "North Canal's" Ecological Corridor


Given the excessive discharge of pollutants in the "North Canal" basin, the reclaimed water quality cannot meet the water quality requirements, and the increase in population and economic development put a huge strain on the water quality of the basin. The overall goal is to improve water quality and take into account water ecological restoration. A technical model for the reconstruction of the "North Canal's" ecological corridors, including governance and management, water and land planning, and land and sea planning, has been developed. As a result, the water quality of the "North Canal" basin has been steadily improved. Other goals in the North Canal Basin include a systematical development of high-quality reclaimed water production technologies such as high-efficiency utilization of carbon sources, A2O process quality and efficiency improvement, ozone oxidation, carbon (phosphorus) efficient concentration and separation, and denitrification coupled with anaerobic ammonia oxidation, and more than 160 wastewater plants in Beijing and Tianjin. The construction of the treatment plant group guarantees the high-standard treatment and regeneration of more than 2 billion cubic meters of wastewater every year.


Demonstration of Baiyangdian-Daqing River's Ecological Corridor


The construction of the Baiyangdian-Daqing River Ecological Corridor includes the management of landscapes, forests, fields, and seas, and it aims at "restoring a lake, building an urban water system, managing and controlling a river basin, and connecting a corridor." What has been achieved so far was the restoration of wetland biodiversity, precise ecological dredging, and hydrodynamic improvements in the Dian District, as well as building a near-natural wetland system of 6.34 square kilometers, and realizing a total replenishment of more than 150 million cubic meters of urban tail water per year. The second goal was to support urban water systems for Xiong’an, and the third one is to control a river basin, which includes ecological water replenishment plans and adoption of long-term mechanisms.


During the "13th Five-Year Plan" period, the Water Special Project established a technical framework system for groundwater pollution restoration and risk control in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. Groundwater replenishment is an effective measure to systematically solve the safety of urban water supply, restore the extraction capacity of water sources, and improve the groundwater environment.


Longhe Wetland



Xiaoyi River Estuary Wetland Water Purification Project



A technical framework system for groundwater pollution restoration and risk control in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region. Gaobeidian Sewage Treatment Plant



Guanting No. 8 Bridge Wetland



Tianjin Tanggu Sewage Treatment Plant



Guishui River Sanli River Wetland