Guangzhou banks on new ap­proach

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By XU­JINGXI in Guangzhou xu­jingxi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The first pi­lot site for a “sponge city” pro­ject in Guangzhou, the cap­i­tal of Guang­dong prov­ince, started on July 2. The pro­ject, lo­cated in the Tianhe dis­trict, in­volves trans­form­ing a lake into awet­land park. The move is ex­pected to re­duce the vol­ume of stormwa­ter in the city by about 180,000 cu­bic me­ters ev­ery time a heavy storm oc­curs.

Tor­rents de­scend­ing from the BaiyunMoun­tain range in the city will be pu­ri­fied and re­duced in force af­ter run­ning through veg­e­ta­tion and a dozen ponds in the wet­land park. Stormwa­ter will also seep through per­me­able ground tiles into un­der­ground stor­age spa­ces and fi­nally run down into a lower reser­voir.

“Re­duc­ing the buildup of wa­ter re­quires a new way of think­ing. We should try to grad­u­ally min­i­mize the vol­ume of flood­wa­ter at the source rather than try­ing to drain stormwa­ter quickly by ex­pand­ing the pipe net­work with­out lim­its,” said Kuang Juan­juan, deputy di­rec­tor of the de­sign and re­search in­sti­tute at the Guangzhou Wa­ter Af­fairs Bureau.

In ur­ban cen­ters where lim­ited land re­sources mean there is no space for large wet­land parks, Kuang ad­vised the use of per­me­able paving slabs

Re­duc­ing the buildup of wa­ter re­quires a new way of think­ing.”

deputy di­rec­tor of the de­sign and re­search in­sti­tute at the Guangzhou Wa­ter Af­fairs Bureau

Kuang Juan­juan, in parks, pub­lic squares and liv­ing com­pounds to re­duce sur­face runoff ef­fec­tively.

At a con­fer­ence in Jan­uary, the wa­ter af­fairs bureau pri­or­i­tized the plan to build a sponge city this year. On June 29, the stand­ing com­mit­tee of the city’s Peo­ple’s Congress ap­proved the Guangzhou Eco­civ­i­liza­tion De­vel­op­ment Plan (2016-20), which aims to en­sure that the city’s down­town can with­stand a “on­ce­in­storm” and a “once-in-200-years flood” by 2020.

To achieve that, new con­struc­tion projects will be re­quired to en­sure that at least 40 per­cent of side­walks, squares and roads are made from per­me­able ma­te­ri­als. In ad­di­tion, the city will re­design drainage sys­tems in ar­eas prone to wa­ter­log­ging and will also study the fea­si­bil­ity of deep-tun­nel drainage sys­tems.

ZHANG WEI / FOR CHINA DAILY

Work­ers pump wa­ter from a ma­jor road dur­ing tor­ren­tial rain in Bei­jing on July 20.

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