The sheer pointlessness of China’s vast investment in dam building was brought home by the 1998 floods, which killed 4,000 people and cost the economy $36 billion. The dams have done nothing to stop the floods, which have been increasing in frequency and severity.
You might think that a country facing a severe water shortage might not have to worry about flooding. In China’s case, you’d be dead wrong. Whereas the North and West of China are parched, the more southern areas through which the mighty Yangtze River flows are highly prone to flooding. These flood-prone areas are home to about 50% of the total population and contribute two-thirds of both the total agricultural and industrial output.
To cope with ...