River and reservoir sustainability in a monsoon climate: experience from Taiwan

02 November 1030a-1p, Rm 223 Moses Hall

Presented by Professor Hsiao-Wen Wang (National Cheng Kung University Taiwan), currently a Fulbright scholar at Berkeley working on conflicts between renewable energy and ecological values.  Like California, Taiwan has highly seasonal precipitation with high interannual variability, so reservoir storage is essential to provide water in dry months and dry years.  But the sediment yields in Taiwan are among the highest in the world, resulting in rapid filling of reservoirs, motivating Taiwan to implement sediment management measures sooner than elsewhere (Wang et al. 2018).  What can we learn from Taiwan’s experience?

This seminar is part of the interdisciplinary faculty seminar series, Water Management: Past and Future Adaptation, presented under the auspices of the UC Berkeley Institute of International Studies.  As both the developed and developing world confront intensifying demands on rivers and other water resources, impacts are evident from extractions of water for human uses, proliferation of dams, mining sediments from river beds, and intensified land-use impacts, all exacerbated by climate change.  Accelerated erosion of coasts and deltas (e.g., from sediment starvation, groundwater pumping, accelerated sea-level rise) are among the manifestations of these impacts.  Our seminar takes an interdisciplinary approach these challenges by examining how societies have adapted to variability in the past (uncertainty in water supply, flood risk, etc) and considers the tools we have to manage future variability in river flows and sediment loads, including variability in water supplies, increased flood risk, and the existential threat to many coastal areas.


References Cited

Wang, H-W, GM Kondolf, D Tullos, and W-C Kuo.  Sediment management in Taiwan’s reservoirs and barriers to implementation.  Water 10(8), 1034; doi:10.3390/w10081034