Urban Floods Prove Challenging to China

Recently, the “Beijing Review” published an article titled “When Rain Is a Pain“, where Yin Pumin reports that although China has had to work with floods throughout its long history, it has been only recently that urban flooding has become a serious problem. “Last year, two thirds of the 374.5 billion yuan ($54.83 billion) in damages caused by floods in China was incurred by cities, according to figures from the Ministry of Water Resources.” As the country continues to urbanize and cities become more and more congested, should there be a growing need to rethink the role of storm-water management and water harvesting practices at the urban planning and policy level in China?

Brief excerpt from the article: “When Rain Is a Pain: Urban flooding raises questions about Chinese cities’ drainage systems” by Yin Pumin:  “As the cities have grown, infrastructure like underground drainage networks have not kept up,” said Li Yuhong, former chief engineer of the Urban Management Office for Rivers and Lakes under the Beijing Water Authority. All in all, more than 250 county-level cities found themselves suffering from an excess of water last year.

On this note Yu Kongjian stated that: “Rainwater harvesting could ease the pressure on the Yangtze water diversion project, and avoid many environmental problems that such large-scale projects possibly cause”.  He suggests expanding the extent of permeable ground coverage within the city, which would involve expanding the city’s green belts.  By collecting rainwater, the local government could create an alternative source of water to meet the demands of cities at a much lower cost than other projects.

Image Credits: Adapted from AFP / Getty Images

Text Excerpt Credits:  When Rain Is a Pain, by Yin Pumin | Beijing Review.com

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