China / Business

73 waterfront parks to prevent flooding in 'Sponge City' plan

By Zheng Jinran (China Daily) Updated: 2016-09-03 08:19

Beijing plans to build 73 waterfront parks to absorb rainfall in summer, which is an effective way to lower the risk of flooding and to collect water in the capital, the city's planning committee said.

In the capital's downtown districts, residents will be able enjoy the green parks with water features such as ponds or small lakes and rivers.

But during the rainy season, the parks will be able to store as much as 10 million cubic meters of water, equivalent to the amount of five Kunming Lakes, the famous spot in the Summer Palace.

The 73 waterfront parks were listed on the recently approved development plan on drainage and flooding control facilities in downtown Beijing, according to a Beijing Daily report on July 26.

In the populated downtown area, it's impossible to build reservoirs or expand the river channels, making the waterfront parks a good option for solving the problem of waterlogging after heavy downpours, the municipal planning committee said, adding that they will operate as water storage tanks, a major way to push forward the "Sponge City" program.

In the mountainous areas of the suburbs, Beijing plans to build another five reservoirs. Together with the existing 88 reservoirs, they could help to prevent flooding across 83 percent of the mountainous region, the committee said.

Beijing has used alternative methods to reduce flooding after storms, such as using permeable materials in construction, building more storage tanks in areas prone to waterlogging, and constructing forest parks in the suburbs.

These methods have proved efficient.

After severe downpours on July 20, 17 downtown areas were waterlogged along major roads - down from 91 such cases seen after heavy downpours on July 21, 2012, said Jia Shangkuan, director of the flooding-control office under the Beijing Drainage Group, according to the People's Daily.

Liu Sheng, a 34-year-old resident who takes a bus over the Guangqumen Bridge to work, said he has witnessed an improvement.

"I had to walk for three hours to get home as the water had inundated the road under it on that day," he said, referring to July 21, 2012, when one driver drowned under the bridge.

"But traffic was not halted by the downpours this year, so my journey home was not difficult," he said, adding that he saw some engineering vehicles with powerful pumping machines on standby near the bridge on July 20.

Beijing has built 60 storage tanks with a total capacity of 210,000 cubic meters, the group said, adding that the tanks were used to reduce waterlogging on roads on July 20, with the water then recycled and used for underground water.


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