China building water absorbent 'sponge cities'

All cities participating in the program have to guarantee that 20 percent of their urban areas have sponge features by 2020.

    2019/03/11

NSFW    WUHAN, CHINA — China is fixing faulty drainage systems, urban flooding and water scarcity by building 'sponge cities', reports The Guardian.

Cities in China are facing many obstacles including rapid population growth, urbanization and climate change. That being said, water has been one of its main problems, particularly faulty drainage systems, urban flooding and water scarcity.

China's solution to this? Building water absorbent cities. Let us explain.

In 2013, China announced that its major cities would undergo water infrastructure development that would enable them to absorb and process water. The on-going project is called the Sponge City program and began in the Central City of Wuhan in Hubei province.

All cities participating in the program have to guarantee that 20 percent of their urban areas have sponge features by 2020. These sponge features must be able to retain 70 percent of the city's stormwater, reports The Guardian.

These sponge features include rain gardens, green space, artificial wetlands, swales and new drainage systems. In the city of Wuhan, 20 percent of the city's urban land would cover roughly 170 square kilometers out of its total urban area of 860 square kilometers.

The program currently includes 30 cities. The new target requires them to ensure that 80 percent of their urban land will be capable of absorbing and re-using rain and stormwater.
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