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3,000 Lakes Shine Like Pearls in Chongqing After Restoration

By DENG, YANICHONGQING|Apr 23,2022

Chongqing is home to more than 3,000 lakes of different sizes, which are embedded in urban and rural areas like colorful pearls. They are the city’s lifeblood and valuable resources to promote the integrated development of culture and tourism.  

Gorgeous sunset glow beside the Nantian Lake in Fengdu County, in Chongqing. (Photo/Visual Chongqing)

Large quantity, fragile ecology

Chongqing has established ten wetland nature reserves, 22 national wetland parks, four municipal wetland parks, and three municipally important wetlands as of the end of 2021. Chongqing has many lakes, but few of them are natural.

Most of the artificial lakes are in the urban-rural interface or even in the downtown area. For example, more than 20 lakes (reservoirs) in Liangjiang New Area. Lakes are characterized by slow water exchange and easy diffusion of pollutants.

In addition, a lake is often adjacent to urban areas, with factories, people, and buildings around.  Those lakes also are used for agricultural irrigation, drinking water source, and cultural tourism and leisure, resulting in greater pressure on ecological protection.

Chongqing Liangping Shuanggui Lake National Wetland Park. (Photo/ Visual Chongqing)

Three steps to restore lake areas

Daihu Lake is located halfway up Jinyun Mountain, not far from Beibei District. The developed industries, dense population and buildings, and many tourists in the surrounding area put greater pressure on its ecological and environmental protection. 

They have taken various measures, such as prohibiting domestic and industrial wastewater from being discharged directly into the lake, dredging the lake, and planting aquatic plants to achieve self-purification of the water body. Now, with the bright and clear water and the swaying green algae at the lake bed, Daihu Lake has become a bright pearl of Jinyun Mountain.

And the second step is to conserve biodiversity since the lakes and wetlands are ecosystems.

Shuanggui Lake in Liangping District has superior natural conditions. After ecological restoration, it has been built into a national wetland park with a total area of 349.97 hectares. Rare animals, such as the Chinese merganser and the Baer’s pochard, spend winter here, and graylag geese, which have not been seen for decades, stop here during the winter migration. The number of vertebrate species here has increased to 277, including 207 species of birds and 623 species of plants.

What’s more, the lakeshore is also an important part.

Xiuhu Park in the Bishan District invested 600 million yuan in improving water bodies and the surrounding environment, building water-friendly walkways, forest walkways, cross-lake corridors, air walkways, as well as gardens, and memorial archways, pavilions, terraces. It also built  Xiuhu International Intangible Cultural Heritage Craft Town and Car Camping Park here. The former Nanmen reservoir has been transformed into a calling card for the Bishan District.

Resident take a stroll on the banks of Hanfeng Lake in Kaizhou District and watch the red-billed gulls dance on the water. Photo by Xiong Wei/Visual Chongqing

Residents take a stroll on the banks of Hanfeng Lake in Kaizhou District and watch the red-billed gulls dance on the water. (Photo/Visual Chongqing)

A magnet for the cultural and tourism industry

Chongqing has continued to explore the lake’s ecological value and promoted ecological agriculture, ecotourism, ecological rehabilitation care, and other industries. The lake area has become an important magnet for the cultural and tourism industry.

Changshou Lake saw great success in ecological fish farming in clean water. It has become the largest organic fish production base in Chongqing, with as many as five varieties of selenium-rich organic fish. In addition, the lake area also actively creates ecological agricultural products such as citrus, tea, and kiwifruit to help residents increase their income.

The tranquil moment of Qiaoting Lake Longhu Village, Weilong Town, Tongliang County. (Photo provided to iChongqing)

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