Author(s): Yang Wenhui; Wu Jianhua; Yan Zhongmin
Linked Author(s): Jianhua Wu
Keywords: River health; River system; Function
Abstract: The concept of river health is useful to the communication between the professional and the public and it is useful to river conservancy and management. It evoked human’s attention to degraded river condition. But there wasn’t a suitable definition of river health. The existing definitions of river health only emphasized the ecosystem health and could not explain some health issues existed in river management. When human benefit is considered in the concept of river health it is difficult to use the definition to illustrate the relation between river and human social development. These definitions limit the usage of the concept of river health. In the paper a definition of river health was presented that based on river system. According to the definition of river health, the contents of river health included three aspects: (1) river natural evolution; (2) river ecological and environmental functions; (3) river social service function. The definition based on river system can be used to cover all river health issues from the three aspects. At the last some interesting areas of the concept of river health was discussed that included harmony among the different functions of a river, research on river management models and river restoration or rehabilitation.