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China needs actions to upgrade underground drainage system in cities

drainage system in china


MANY Chinese cities offer "sea views", but of a kind that arouse fear and anger rather than raise spirits. The term is often used scornfully by Chinese media to describe the floods that render roads impassable and sometimes kill people during heavy downpours.

很多中国城市都向居民提供"海景",但这种海景却引发了人们的担忧和愤怒,而不是令人提起兴致。中国媒体常常轻蔑地使用这种说法,来形容在倾盆大雨期间令道路无法通行并且有些时候会致人死亡的洪水。

 

They are largely the product of woefully inadequate drains. Urban areas have more than doubled in size since 1998, but officials have scrimped on arrangements for keeping them dry.

这种情况在很大程度上是由于排水系统的不足造成的。自1998年以来,中国城市区域的面积增加了不止一倍,但官员们却在为这些区域保持干燥的措施上十分吝啬。

 

During the summer rainy season, the complaints of urban residents swell as fast as the foul water in the streets. They are targeted at the government. Even the state-controlled press joins in. On July 28th China Youth Daily said it was "beyond understanding" that city planners should give priority to high-profile "vanity projects" while ignoring the need for storm drains and the like. "Money doesn’t seem to be a problem," it said.

在夏天的雨季期间,中国城市居民抱怨之声的高涨速度就像大街上的污水高涨速度一样快。这些抱怨都指向了政府。即便是官方媒体也加入其中。《中国青年报》在7月28日称,"到今天技术发达、物资丰富、资金充裕,还把面子看得比里子更重甚至全力解决面子问题,就让人不可理喻了"。

 

Residents of Beijing still harbour bitter memories of flooding in 2012 that killed 79 people (mostly outside the urban core) and caused 12 billion yuan ($1.9 billion) in damage. Much of the mayhem was caused by the flooding of underpasses with inadequate drains. Beijingers vented their fury online when the city government tried to raise money to help victims, calling the charity drive an attempt to cover up officials’ failings.

北京的居民仍然记得2012年7月下旬的那场暴雨。当时暴雨引发的洪水共造成79人死亡,并造成近120亿元人民币的损失。当政府试图发起募捐帮助受害者时,北京人在网上表达了自己的愤怒之情,称慈善活动是在试图掩盖官员的失职。

 

That disaster focused a bit more government attention on the problem. But improvements have not been obvious. In June a downpour in Shanghai inspired Uber, a taxi service, to change the images on its app for the city from cars to boats. Most drains are still unable to cope with even a moderate storm of a kind that can be expected once a year or so.

灾难让政府对该问题的关注程度有所增加。但尚未有显而易见的改善。今年6月,上海的一场大雨让优步公司获得了灵感,在其应用软件上将上海的叫车服务改为叫船服务。大部分城市的排水系统甚至连大约一年一遇的中等强度的暴雨也无法应对。

 

Cheng Xiaotao of the China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research in Beijing says that between 2006 and last year the number of cities with inadequate flood-control measures rose from 170 to 284. He blames a failure to build drains fast enough to cope with urban sprawl.

中国水利水电科学研究院的程晓陶称,防洪措施不足的中国城市数量超过170个。他认为政府未能足够迅速地修建排水系统,以应对城市扩张。

 

Fixing this will be costly and disruptive: expanded drains have to compete for underground space with other necessities such as power lines, heating pipes and internet cables. But the government is eager to boost economic growth by spending more money on public-works projects.

解决这一问题将是昂贵且具有破坏性的:增加的排水系统不得不与输电线、供热管道以及网线等其他必需品争夺地下空间。但政府正急于通过在市政工程项目上花费更多资金来推动经济增长。

 

On July 28th the prime minister, Li Keqiang, said that poor underground pipes were a "big dragging force" on urbanisation. He called for greater effort to improve them. Ten cities have been chosen as pioneers: they are due to spend more than 35 billion yuan over the next three years on upgrades of all kinds of pipes, including drainage ones. In Beijing there are plans to build underground storage tanks to capture rainwater—each at a cost of about 100m yuan.
在7月28日,中国政府表示,针对长期存在的城市地下基础设施落后的突出问题,要在城市建造用于集中敷设电力、通信、广电、给排水、热力、燃气等市政管线的地下综合管廊。目前已经有10个城市被纳入试点范围:这些城市将在未来三年花费超过350亿元人民币用于升级所有类型的管道,包括排水管道。

 

Another approach was suggested by President Xi Jinping in 2013, when he said cities should be built like "sponges": capable of absorbing rainwater rather than causing it all to pour into drains and overwhelm them. This year a "sponge city" pilot programme was rolled out in 16 cities. The idea is to enable them to soak up 70% of rainwater; methods include the use of permeable material in paving and the creation of storage ponds and areas of wetland.

另一种方式是将城市修建得像"海绵"一样能够吸收雨水。今年,"海绵城市"试点项目在16个城市展开。该项目的想法是令这些城市能够吸收70%的雨水。方法包括在铺路时使用可渗透材料,以及修建蓄水池以及湿地区域等。

 

It is intended that water thus stored could be used for purposes such as street-cleaning and firefighting. Many of the cities affected by flooding—including Beijing—are desperately short of water.

通过这种方式储存下来的水能够被用于城市清洁以及消防等用途。很多受到洪水影响的城市——包括北京——都十分缺水。

2016-06-24

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