Sustainable Development and Carbon Reduction
A Study on Comprehensive River Basin Management in Taiwan
Shen Chiang*, Jin-Cheng Fu*, Jiun-Huei Jang*, Lung-Sheng Shieh*, Huei-Syuan Fu**,
Keh-Chia Yeh***, Ming-Hsi Hsu****, Liang-Chun Chen*****
*Associate Research Fellow, **Senior Assistant Research Fellow
***Division Head, ****Deputy Director, *****Director
National Science and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction, New Taipei City, Taiwan
ABSTRACT: Due to Taiwan‟s unique geological conditions it is very susceptible to natural disasters such as: floods, droughts, land slide, and earthquakes on an annual basis. River basin management had always been one of the central topics for the Taiwan government. The government devoted huge amounts of resources in research and development and management funds; yet the field of river basin management spans over vast areas including aspects in disaster management, water resources management, and sustainable environment development. How to comprehensively conduct combined management had become an important challenge for Taiwan government. With the country‟s economic development and increased degree of urbanization, the
challenges in comprehensive river basin management (CRBM) had become even greater. In 2008, after Taiwan was hit by typhoon Kalmaegi, Phoenix, Sinlaku, and Jangmi, the Executive Yuan proposed the “Flood-prone Region Water Disaster Management Plan Review”. Five major river basins, Tamsui, Dajia,
Zhuoshui, Zengwen and Gaoping, were designated as demonstration river basins for CRBM implementation by the central government. At the same time, the Executive Yuan‟s technology think-tank, National Science
and Technology Center for Disaster Reduction (NCDR) was appointed to assist in the formation and organization of an operation procedure manual for CRBM to serve as the guideline for river basin management agencies or related authorities in carrying out CRBM. Consequently, NCDR appointed professional researchers to form a Task Force (TF), whose mission was to gather river basin management experiences and strategies from advanced nations such as Europe, the United States, and Japan and formulate the content for a CRBM operation procedure manual suited for Taiwan. Based on the suggestions and advice from Professor Takahasi, one of the leaders in the field of river basin management, a framework of CRBM is proposed, which combined three elements. They are: (1). Planning: such as National Land Planning, that guides the development and future vision of the river basin. (2). Structural measures: such as the river improvement works. (3). Non-structural measures: such as disaster prevention/reduction measures, as well as flood plain management. The Executive Yuan had been actively promoting integrated National Land
Planning schemes, trying to increase the development value as well as to upgrade the quality of urban life. It adopted a more flexible „planning permission spirit, aiming to establish a new structure for the management of national developments.
Keywords: comprehensive river basin management, Taiwan
government devoted huge amounts of resources in 1. Introduction
River basin management had always been one of research and development and management funds;
the central topics for the Taiwan government. The yet the field of river basin management spans over
vast areas including aspects in disaster management, strategy of management”. It does not have a
water resources management, and sustainable particular pattern or example that can be environment development. How to applied to any region. Its principle planning comprehensively conduct combined management guideline should be in accord with the had become an important challenge for Taiwan characteristics of the particular region and the government. With the country‟s economic decisions should be made comprehensively and development and increased degree of urbanization, appropriate to the circumstance.
the challenges in comprehensive river basin 3. Unification of structural strategies and management (CRBM) had become even greater. In non-structural strategies: Due to factors of 2008, after Taiwan was hit by typhoon Kalmaegi, economic efficiency superior protective Phoenix, Sinlaku, and Jangmi, the Executive Yuan structures cannot be constructed. Structural proposed the “Flood-prone Region Water Disaster strategies can only reach certain designed Management Plan Review”. Five major river basins, protection levels. Disaster reduction task for Tamsui, Dajia, Zhuoshui, Zengwen and Gaoping, flood exceeding the designed protection level were designated as demonstration river basins for must rely on supplementary non-structural CRBM implementation by the central government. strategies to assist and minimize loss from
disaster damage. 2. CRBM planning principles
In the past the water management philosophy 4. Confirm protection subjects: In the perspective in Taiwan was governed by the basic strategy of of disaster prevention, the key is in the “rapid drainage”, thus often causing drainage protection of subjects from loss in water volumes to exceed the volumes that the flood disasters, thus the key in protection is the prevention construction were designed to handle in protection of subjects.
the middle to down-stream areas of the river basin 5. Confirm disaster protection level: The level of and resulting in flood disasters. The guidelines of river basin protection should be decided the CRBM proposed by NCDR included the comprehensively based on the protection following primary planning principles: subject, disaster loss, and nation policies. 1. Conduct improvement strategy planning based 6. Establish cross-agency task distribution and
on the river basin as a unit: Each flood type integration system: CRBM must be carried out
area of each zone within the river basin requires in accordance with laws and regulations.
a unique and distinct approach; its level of Comprehensive planning should be conducted
protection priority should be dependent on the with land planning as the basis.
scale of the disaster magnitude. The stream 7. Include risk management concepts: In any form
implications and derivative disasters of a of prevention measure there exists certain limits
disaster zone should be taken into consideration. to its function, thus emphasizing land planning
Improvement strategies should be decided and regulations plays an important role in water
comprehensively based on the entirety of the disaster risk reduction. It is possible to avoid
river basin, rather than conducting remediation disaster risks and losses from reckless land
focused on partial regions. development.
2. Management strategies should be appropriate to 3. The disaster vulnerability map and CRBM
the conditions: CRBM is a “method and Professor Takahasi emphasized the idea of
combining city planning development and disaster Figure 1 shows the concept of the composition of prevention department to plan the direction of the disaster vulnerability map. Different potential development at the early stages of city development. maps were manipulated as layers in the map. The Following this idea, NCDR proposed an alternative disaster vulnerability of the area inside the river solution by manipulating the disaster vulnerability basin can be recognized and identified through the map as the guideline for CRBM. The three elements map. For each area, the guideline of river basin of the CRBM are shown as below: management, development, and disaster 1. Planning: such as National Land Planning or management can be planned and evaluated from the
disaster vulnerability map, that guides the viewpoint of the entire river basin. This idea came
development and future vision of river basin. from Professor Takahasi‟s account of the conflict
2. Structural measures: such as the river between departments responsible for city
improvement works. development and departments responsible for 3. Non-structural measures: such as disaster disaster prevention in Japan‟s past city development
prevention/reduction measures, as well as flood process, and the revelation of the necessity of city
plain management. planning.
By recognition and identification of the 4. Conclusions
disaster vulnerability of the river basin, appropriate This article sincerely thanks Professor Takahasi measures and strategies were devised to evaluate for his contributions to the water resource the allocation of the structural and non-structural construction in Taiwan. CRBM is by no means an measures that were applied in the river basin area. easy task as much effort and assistance are required. The disaster vulnerability map utilizes various It is hoped that Professor Takahasi can continually disaster potentials (inundation, weather, subsidence, share his expertise in all ways and remain a friend socio-economy status, landslide and population etc) to Taiwan forever.
to identify the vulnerable parts of a river basin unit.
Figure 1 Concept of the composition and the utilizing of the Disaster Vulnerability Map Note: For the legend, the index used is 1-5, indicating the lowest potential level (1) to the highest potential