He Licheng is a 55-year-old fisherman and farmer at Gusheng Village, which is located beside Erhai Lake in Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture of South China’s Yunnan Province. Like other Bai people, the ethnic group native to Dali, he has always seen Erhai Lake as a mother lake, and witnessed the changes it has gone through. The ups and downs of his life are closely intertwined with the water.

Childhood memory: beautiful waterside scenery

“Swimming in Erhai Lake was my favorite thing to do when I was young, and the water in the lake was clear,” He Lichen recalls a childhood filled with joy. At that time, Erhai Lake was fairly clear and the water visibility was as far as 8 meters. He added that when there wasn’t enough water in the village's wells for villagers to drink before the rainy season, they fetched water directly from Erhai Lake. Ottelia acuminata floated on the lake like little white boats, giving a beautiful view of the lake from the waterside.

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