The Review of River Health Assessment in China

  • Cun Liu
  • Shi-Lu Zhang
  • Wen-Yan Cui
  • Chao Lin
  • Jun ZhangEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Environmental Earth Sciences book series (EESCI)


This paper makes a systematic overview of the development process of evaluation on China river health growing out of nothing and summarizes the explanations of the river health concept made by famous experts and scholars in China to obtain the essence of river health evaluation. This paper compares the domestic typical evaluation methods and summarizes the common advantages and disadvantages of these methods. Based on the above-mentioned summary, this paper concludes that the research direction of health evaluation is the urban river health evaluation, biological habitat evaluation, research on the river ecological base flow and evaluation on the influence of inter-basin water transfer. Finally, this paper gives a brief prospect of China’s river health evaluation work in the future.


River health Evaluation method Evaluation index Research direction 



The researchers would like to extend their thanks to The National Key Research and Development Program of China (No. 2016YFC0401401-6) & Hebei Provincial Research Center of Water Ecological Civilization &Social Governance.


  1. 1.
    Yang, L.-F., Li, Y.-W., Qi, D.-G., et al.: The assessment of aquatic insect community structure and biological water quality in Jiuhua River. Acta Ecol. Sinica 12(1), 8–15 (1992).
  2. 2.
    Tang, T., Cai, Q.-H., Liu J.-K.: River ecosystem health and its assessment. Chin. J. Appl. Ecol. 13(9), 1191–1194 (2002).
  3. 3.
    Liu, C.-M., Liu, X.-Y.: Healthy river: essence and indicators. Acta Geograph. Sinica 63(7), 683–692 (2008).
  4. 4.
    Dong, Z.-R.: River health connotation. China Water Resour. 04, 15–18 (2005).
  5. 5.
    Geng, L.-H., Liu, H., Zhong, H.-P., et al.: Indicators and criteria for evaluation of healthy rivers. J. Hydraul. Eng. 37, 253–258 (2006).
  6. 6.
    Wu, A.-N., Che, Y., Xu, Q.-F., et al.: Approach for health assessment of rivers in Shanghai. J. Ecol. Rural Environ. 23, 90–94 (2007).
  7. 7.
    Zhao, Y.-W., Yang, Z.-F.: Preliminary study on assessment of urban river ecosystem health. Adv. Water Sci. 03, 349–355 (2005).
  8. 8.
    Wang, L., Gong, Z.-G., Zhang, J., et al.: Comprehensive index system for evaluation of river ecosystem health. China Water Wastewater 23, 97–100 (2007).
  9. 9.
    Li, G.-Y.: Keeping healthy life of the Yellow River-an ultimate aim of taming the Yellow River. Yellow River 26, 1–3 (2004).
  10. 10.
    Cai, Q.-H.: Maintain health of the Yangtze River, and promote the human-water harmony. Yangtze River 36, 1–3 (2005).
  11. 11.
    Yue, Z.-M.: Maintenance of the Pearl River health life, building a green Pearl River, and strive to build a harmonious society. Pearl River 2, 1–5 (2005).
  12. 12.
    Zhang, Y., Zheng, B.-H., Liu, H.-L., et al.: Indicators and evaluation of ecosystem health of typical rivers in Shenzhen City. Water Resour. Prot. 05, 13–17, 52 (2006).
  13. 13.
    Wang, Q., Yuan, X.-Z., Liu, H., et al.: Stream habitat assessment of Dong River, China, using river habitat survey method. Acta Ecol. Sinica 06, 1548–1558 (2014).
  14. 14.
    Wang, W., Xu, X., Dong, Z., et al.: Assessment of river health based on projection pursuit-extension set theory. J. Water Resour. Water Eng. 02, 122–127 (2016). Scholar
  15. 15.
    Xu, X., Chen, Q.-S., Dong, Z., et al.: Prediction-comprehensive index assessment model in the evaluation of river health. China Rural Water Hydropower, 05, 23–26, 32 (2016).
  16. 16.
    Zhao, J.-H., Shen, G.-H., Qin, W.: Research on Yihe River evaluation based on entropy weight comprehensive health index method. Water Resour. Dev. Manag. 01, 49–52 (2016).
  17. 17.
    Simpson, J., Norris, R., Barmuta, L., et al.: Aus Riv AS National River Health Program [R] (1999)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Karr, J.R.: Ecological integrity and ecological health are not the same. In: Schulze, P. (ed.) Engineering Within Ecological Constraints. National Academy of Engineering, National Academy Press, Washington, DC (1995)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Dong, Z.-R.: Interpretation of river health. Express Water Resour. Hydropower Inf. 11, 17–19 (2007).
  20. 20.
    Wu, A.-N.: River health assessment: theory, methods and practice. Shanghai: Doctoral Dissertation of Shanghai Normal University (2008).
  21. 21.
    Wen, F.-B., Han, Q.-W., Xu, J.-X., et al.: The definition and connotation of river health. Adv. Water Sci. 01, 140–150 (2007).
  22. 22.
    Meyer, J.L.: Stream health: incorporating the human dimension to advance stream ecology. J. N. Am. Benthol. Soc. 16, 439–447 (1997). Scholar
  23. 23.
    Zhang, N., Meng, W., Zhang, Y., et al.: Multi-variable assessment of river ecosystem health in Liao River basin. Res. Environ. Sci. 02, 162–170 (2009). Scholar
  24. 24.
    Liu, X.-T.: Discussion on problems of city river harnessing. Planners 17, 66–69 (2001). Scholar
  25. 25.
    Yang, Y., Yan, Z.-M., Qiao, Y.: Description and review of hydraulic conditions of fish habitats. J. HOHAI Univ. (Nat. Sci.), 35, 125–130 (2007).
  26. 26.
    Shi, R.-H., Xu, S.-G.: Methods for river habitat survey and evaluation. Chin. J. Appl. Ecol. 19, 2081–2086 (2008)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Li, R., Zhao, M., Chang, Y.-M.: Analysis on the influence definition and factor of trans-valley moving water on region ecological environment. Ecol. Econ. 2, 155–157 (2009)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cun Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shi-Lu Zhang
    • 2
  • Wen-Yan Cui
    • 2
  • Chao Lin
    • 3
  • Jun Zhang
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.College of Water Conservancy and HydropowerHebei University of EngineeringHandanChina
  2. 2.Ministry of Water Resources, Haihe River Water Conservancy CommissionTianjinChina
  3. 3.Zhanghe Uptream Management Bureau, Haihe River Water Conservancy CommissionHandanChina

Personalised recommendations