Flood Risk and Flood Management Policies in China
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The scale and pace of China’s urbanization over the past two decades is without precedent. The fast urbanization, combined with the impact of global warming, is reshaping the characteristics of flood risk and flooding preparedness needs. The flood control and drainage infrastructure in China’s cities fails to catch up with the pace of urbanization. As a result, flooding has become a common problem in cities across the country. In the meantime, in rural China, due to labor shortages caused by the large-scale movement of workers, mostly young workers, from rural areas to cities, dikes in rural areas are poorly maintained and flood relief efforts during the flood season are weakened, thus increasing flood risk and damage. Chinese farmers can be easily caught in vicious cycle of flood and debt. Furthermore, the country’s existing social assistance and disaster relief systems are not mature enough to help flood victims rebuild their lives. Based on the results of data analysis and the investigation of typical cases, this paper discusses the evolution of the characteristics of flood risk in China, and suggests that the Chinese policymakers should fully grasp the realities, reestablish harmony with nature, improve flood risk management and emergency response, and step up basic science research and capacity building in this sphere.
KeywordsFlood Risk management Emergency response Coping strategies
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