(ORDO NEWS) — The world is facing growing challenges in river management as climate change continues and leads to more water-related disasters, a senior water expert in China warned.
Climate change has a profound impact on the Earth, and this impact is most strongly expressed through water disasters, said Wang Hao, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, at the Global River Forum held on August 24 in Beijing.
Over the past decade, 90% of major natural disasters around the world have been water-related, including floods, heavy rains or drought, he said.
Wang is also a researcher at the China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, the host of the forum.
At the event, the institute launched a new magazine called “River” as a platform to showcase the latest concepts, cutting-edge theories and innovative technologies in river management, as well as practices and success stories in the field of water management.
Wang said that due to climate change in the world, conditions for agricultural production have worsened.
For example, due to more frequent droughts, the decline in China’s grain harvest since the beginning of the new millennium is 2.6 times what it was in the 1950s.
He also noted the risks associated with climate change for dam safety.
Continuous waves of heat and cold will increase the difficulty of controlling the temperature of the concrete during dam construction, he said, reducing the margin of safety of the facilities.
Climate fluctuations will also increase the frequency of extreme hydrological events and geological disasters, he added.
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