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Ministry on alert for flood season

2023-07-28 | By Hou LiQiang


Water management facilities are identified to be at risk in China, according to the Ministry of Water Resources. In a national report of flood and drought risks, the Ministry surveys 97,000 reservoirs, 78,000 flood control sluices, 315,000 kilometers of dikes and 98 flood detention areas across China this year. 

Forecasts show that China could experience more frequent regional and periodic droughts and floods in 2023, with an increase in extreme weather events. Heavier than usual rainfall is expected to fall in the basins of the Haihe, Pearl, Songhua and Liaohe Rivers, as well as the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River, resulting in more severe floods. The 2023 flood season began eight days earlier than the record in China. Also, the flood control situation has been tougher than in previous years, said Shang Quanmin, an official with the Ministry's Department of Flood and Drought Control. ‘Torrential rains increased water levels over their danger marks in 50 rivers across Jiangxi, Hunan, Fujian, Zhejiang and Guangdong provinces and the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, 40 per cent of them were higher than the average level over the past 10 years,’ he said.

Some reservoirs’ designed capacities, for example, are facing with risk of overloading, suggested by Zheng Shichen, an official with the Ministry's Dam Safety Management Center. Cracks were also found in many dams which could be breached in floods, due to inadequate safety monitoring and management, Zheng said. He indicated that the Ministry will use both engineering and non-engineering approaches to reduce flood hazards in 9,385 small reservoirs across the country. This year, the Ministry plans to strengthen 3,500 small-sized reservoirs where risks have been identified. A total of 3 billion yuan ($431 million) from the central government has been transferred to local governments for reinforcement work on 1,890 facilities.

The Ministry has organized flood-control drills in some river basins. It involved the testing of flood forecasting, the flood control operation of key reservoirs, flood detention areas, and other command procedures for emergency river basin responses.

Edited by Liang Xiuchun 

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