Water Resources and Flood and Drought Hazards in the Yangtze River Basin
The Yangtze River basin has carried China’s socioeconomic development for many thousands of years. Because there are more mountains, fewer plains, more population, and less land, the watershed has experienced periodic large floods and severe droughts; the socioeconomic development of the basin is reflected in the history of fighting flood and drought disasters everywhere as the construction of large water conservancy projects occurred after each large flood or drought disaster. This chapter describes the spatial and temporal distributional characteristics of water resources in the Yangtze River basin. Most of the water resources in the Yangtze River basin are surface water with little groundwater resources. The mainstream and tributaries in the upper Yangtze have abundant hydraulic energy resources, and the middle and lower reaches have good navigable channels and water transportation resources. This chapter overviews the historical droughts, typical water-scarce areas, and existing water quality-related shortage problems of the Yangtze River. This chapter also analyzes flood characteristics of the Yangtze River basin, reviews major historical flood processes and associated disasters, and discusses drought characteristics of the Yangtze River and representative drought years and associated damages. Finally, there is a discussion of extreme hydrological events resulting from climate change.
KeywordsThe Yangtze River Changjiang River Evolution of river system Basin ecosystem Water resources utilization Floods and drought Ecological and environmental protection Basin management
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