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Chinese River Basins: Advances in Hydrological Science and Engineering
Convener: Y. HE  | Co-Conveners: F Pappenberger , DY Manful , H.L. Cloke 
Oral Programme
 / Mon, 23 Apr, 08:30–12:00 / Room 36
Poster Programme
 / Attendance Mon, 23 Apr, 17:30–19:00 / Hall A
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China is abundant in rivers. Seven major river basins, namely the Yangtze, Yellow, Heilong, Pearl (Zhu Jiang), Huai, Liao, and Hai River, have a total drainage area of approximately 4 Million sq. kilometres. There are numerous freshwater and saltwater lakes in China. Water plays an essential role in Chinese culture and history. The dynamics of precipitation in China including spatial and temporal distribution is very irregular and changes, sometimes dramatically, from year to year. This has been attributed to the locations of many river basins in a transitional climatic regime between the southern monsoon and the northern continental climate. Water transfer canals have for hundreds of years been in use to balance the uneven water resources distribution in China. The ancient Grand Canal, the longest artificial river in the world, was built about 1500 years ago linking five of the seven major river basins. The modern Grand Canal currently under construction, also known as the South-North water transfer project, is the largest water transfer of its kind. It is expected to change the hydrological landscape of China unnaturally, whether in a positive or negative manner remains to be seen. Environmental change including landuse and climate change as well as soaring demand for freshwater have worsened.

Along with the economic growth, there has been an explosive growth in water related research output since 1980. China has seen more than four-fold growth in publications per year since 1999. Although the absolute and relative numbers of publications have increased dramatically, there hasn’t been a coordinated and systematic approach to research publications on hydrological sciences and engineering across either climatic zones or geographical regions in China. There remain issues with consistency, not to mention the segregated and incomplete nature of data sets for water related research.

Complex issues involving a rapidly changing climate regime, heavily engineered river systems, landuse change and non-standardised data sets have made hydrological research in China unique as well as challenging. A corollary is China’s current attempt to switch from traditional water resources development and utilisation to water resources management for sustainable development. To this end, not only more research effort is required, there is also a need to improve the communication of research findings to decision makers. It has thus become necessary to bring together isolated research communities, explore on-going work and develop synergies to map out a strategy for the future.

Contributions are welcome from all communities working in Chinese river basins. They can cover, but are not restricted to, the following topics:

• Physical, chemical, biogeochemical, stochastic and systems aspects of surface and groundwater hydrology
• Hydro-climatology, Hydro-meteorology and hydrogeology
• Water resource systems, hydraulics, agrohydrology, geomorphology and soil science
• Assessment of predictive uncertainties including cascade of climatic-hydrologic-hydraulic uncertainties and identification of uncertainties sources
• Understanding of historical as well as future spatial and temporal patterns of floods and droughts at basin or national scale
• Inter-basin water transfer and re-allocation of water resources including impacts on hydrology
• Impacts of environmental change on water resources
• Hydro-power potential, generation and impacts on hydrology
• Evaluation and standardisation of hydrological data sets
• Remote sensing and GIS data application in water resources engineering and management
• Social science dimensions of hydrological problems including resource and ecological economics, environmental sociology, psychology and behavioural science
• Water management and policy analysis
• Multi-and interdisciplinary analyses of hydrological problems

A special issue is being planned and contributors to this session may have an opportunity to submit a full article to a peer-reviewed journal after the session.

Solicited speaker:
Professor Chong-Yu Xu
Department of Geosciences
University of Oslo