China plans to repair 46,400 dilapidated reservoirs over next five years

10:37, February 26, 2011      

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China will complete the maintenance of all dilapidated reservoirs over the next five years to combat floods and guard against the effects of geological disasters, Vice Minister of Water Resources Jiao Yong said Friday.

Speaking at a joint media briefing with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and the Ministry of Finance, Jiao said about 46,400 run-down small reservoirs need to be repaired and secured between 2011 to 2015.

"The intensifying global climate change has resulted in more frequent extreme weather and devastating disasters, such as storms and floods, making those dilapidated reservoirs very vulnerable in our country's flood preventions projects," Jiao said.

"We have a lot of reservoirs that are dilapidated and this has caused serious hazards to the security of our flood prevention projects," he added.

To support those reservoir consolidation projects, China has planned investments totaling 62.54 billion yuan (9.51 billion U.S. dollars) over the next four years and 24.8 billion yuan (3.77 billion U.S. dollars) of special funds have been allocated by the central government to local governments this year.

From 2008 to 2010, China invested 64.48 billion yuan (9.8 billion U.S. dollars) to consolidate 7,356 large- and medium-size reservoirs, as well as key small reservoirs.

Currently, China has 87,000 reservoirs across the country. Most of them were built in the 1950s-1970s using low construction standards, according to officials.

Many of these reservoirs are now in serious disrepair, posing challenges to the prevention and control of mountain flood-triggered geological disasters in areas with a population of 130 million or more, according to the NDRC.

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