Flood management for a trans-boundary river from North to South Korea

Jaeeung Yi, Ajou University, Korea

Friday 25 January 2019, 11-12h30, Moses Hall 223

The Imjin River flows from North to South Korea, with 63 percent of its basin in the North. North Korea constructed several reservoirs in the upper Imjin River and released high flows downstream several times without warning South Korea, causing massive damage four times since 1996. The ongoing political tensions between South and North Korea makes it difficult to control floods in the Imjin River altogether. South Korea built the Gunnam flood control reservoir on the lower Imjin River (2013) and the Hantan River flood control dam on a tributary (2016), but these have been insufficient to control floods in the lower Imjin River. Improved measurement and modeling of flows into Gunnam reservoir allows us to develop reservoir operation policies to maximize the flood control benefits of two flood control reservoirs.

Jaeeung Yi is a professor at the department of civil engineering in Ajou University, Korea and he is currently a visiting scholar at the Department of Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning, UC. Berkeley. His main study area is hydrology and water resources system management.

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 and riverine areas.