Weathering the Storm: Wastewater Resiliency in the US and China

Jun 10, 2019

In 2018, floods resulted in over 20 casualties and billions of yuan in damage in China, with the government issuing 835 flood warnings nationwide. As global temperatures rise, the combination of extreme weather events and sea level rise threaten the basic infrastructure and water security of low-elevation Chinese cities. Coastal residents account for 43% of China’s population – approximately 170 million citizens live less than ten meters above sea level. In fact, seven of China’sten largest cities are on the coast, creating high stakes for the government to address impending threats of flooding and sea level rise. Shanghai, China’s largest city, is on the frontlines of climate change as one of the world’s most flood-vulnerable major cities. Shanghai’s government was eager to invest in the sponge city initiative and expand greenspace, rooftop gardens and porous pavements to control stormwater floods. However, officials have been hesitant to invest in climate adaptation measures that don’t create a big splash, like the unglamorous networks of sewage and wastewater infrastructure.
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