Sun, Aug 26, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Funds to curb central, southern floods

PREVENTION:The project would reduce the risk of flooding for 200km2 by building 250km of levees and underground drainage from next year to 2024, sources said

By Lee Hsin-fang, Liu Li-jen and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

A flood prevention and drainage project under the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program is to funnel NT$22 billion (US$714.68 million) into central and southern Taiwan over the course of next year and 2020, the Executive Yuan said.

The project aims to increase the drainage efficiency of major rivers and improve localized drainage systems, it said.

Underground drainage pipes and levees would be constructed and riverbank conservation areas would be increased, it added.

Central and southern Taiwan were prioritized due to recent flooding, Water Resource Agency Deputy Director-General Wang Yi-feng (王藝峰) said.

Areas would be reviewed case by case, with the Executive Yuan weighing the needs of each area and making adjustments to funding priorities as necessary, Wang said.

The development program has allotted NT$59.3 billion to hydro-engineering projects, Executive Yuan officials who knew about the matter said on condition of anonymity.

The flood prevention and drainage project would reduce the risk of flooding for 200km2 by building 250km of levees and underground pipes from next year to 2024, they said, adding that sewers and pipes alone could total NT$72 billion.

This first step would be to make about 80km2 of flood-prone land less susceptible to flooding by completing 110km of levees and underground drainage pipes by 2020, they added.

Riverbank conservation areas would be increased to 6,500 hectares, while 120km of river area under central government jurisdiction and 16km of seaside levees would be improved, they said.

The Water Resource Agency yesterday said the severe flooding in central and southern Taiwan was due to torrential rains dumping 400mm to 500mm of water in the regions.

Asked why the drainage capacity was so low, the agency said it was upgraded in 2006 based on a 10-year recurrence interval limit.

Recent rainfall has far exceeded the 100mm to 300mm capacity of local drainage systems, making flooding inevitable, it added.

Upgrades to manage such severe rainfalls would be very costly and time-consuming to build, it said.

The drainage capacity of Taiwan’s system already outstrips that of some more developed nations, and instead of upgrading capacity, the agency is mulling the possibility of having multiple regions share run-off areas, it said.

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