Following some of the worst flooding in a decade and the loss of more than 2 million homes, the Chinese government has commissioned a flood risk map to be drawn up for completion by 2022.
In spite of dam projects designed to reduce some of the countries most frequently hit areas – particularly low lands where the Yangtze river flows towards the ocean, 2.6 million hectares of agricultural land have been lost and almost 3500 people are missing or dead.
The China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research has demanded a comprehensive map of the regions most vulnerable to flooding and a review of human activity in and around these areas, according to the Xinhua News Agency. This could result in new planning regulations prohibiting development of land in flood risk areas. It is estimated that 150 million people in China could reside in flood-vulnerable places.
The Three Gorges Dam is one project designed to prevent serious flooding as well as providing hydroelectric energy for China’s growing economy. More than 1 million people were displaced to make way for the dam. So far it has been successful in reducing the flow of water during the peak of the floods from 70,000 cubic meters per second to only 40,000 cubic meters per second, but this wasn’t without cost as the dam itself was be-seiged by debris and trash washed down by the raging waters faster than the authorities could clear it. Many of the losses of homes and lives occurred upstream from the dam.
- Shipping halted at China’s Three Gorges dam as dam to experience fresh flood peak (foxnews.com)
- China Floods Wash Chemicals into River (time.com)
- China floods test massive Three Gorges Dam, as torrential rains smother the country (foxnews.com)
- More rain predicted for flood-ravaged China (theglobeandmail.com)
- Rains Test Three Gorges Dam (online.wsj.com)