IWA Publishing

Water management in a city of southwest China before the 17th century

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Kunming City is the capital of Yunnan Province, China. From the 12th century, it has developed from a remote rural town to become a large city. Successful water management was one of the key dynamic factors in the city's development. As a result of the location of Kunming City, in its early age it was in a narrow area between the north bank of Dian Chi lake and the mountains, therefore the water management in the history of Kunming City mainly focused on two key projects, one being the Song Hua Ba Dam with the function to control flooding from Pang Long Jiang river, and the other the Hai Kou He river dredging project to control the drainage from Dian Chi lake, therefore shaping a water supply system for the city in the upper basin of the Yangtze River. Pang Long Jiang river is only one large river from the mountains flowing across the city into Dian Chi lake. Therefore the city's development from its early age (11th century) mainly depended on irrigation and flood control of Pan Long Jiang river basin and the basic water system for the city was formed before the 17th century (Ming Dynasty), the most important period of the city's water history.

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