||The TA is consistent with the 12th Five-Year Plan and is aimed at assisting the government in developing policies, strategies, and action plans to improve urban stormwater management and utilization, and waterlogging prevention. It is aligned with ADB's PRC country partnership strategy, which is concerned with managing the environment, catalyzing investment, and improving governance, among others. It conforms to ADB's Water Policy, which seeks to improve urban water investments through technical assistance and investments in water supply, sanitation and wastewater management, and environmental improvement. The TA will have a positive impact on the living environment of urban residents through water and resource conservation and disaster prevention. The urban poor, in particular, will benefit from the project because they are more vulnerable to disasters. The TA also supports ADB's strategic priorities in ADB's Strategy 2020. Introducing new approaches of urban stormwater management and waterlogging prevention are positive steps toward resource efficiency and climate change mitigation. Moreover, the TA's recommendations could lead to the preparation of investment projects where ADB could provide further financing assistance.
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
The PRC's economic growth since the start of economic reforms in 1978 has been accompanied by rapid urbanization. The urban population grew from 160 million in 1975 to about 622 million in 2010. The urbanization rate increased from 17.0% to 46.6% in the same period and is expected to reach 65.0% (equivalent to an urban population of about 1 billion) by 2030. This rapid urbanization was fueled largely by the transformation of suburban areas from farming to nonfarming activities and by the massive migration of surplus rural labor to urban areas. The total urban area in 2010 is around 85,000 square kilometers. Sustainable urbanization is a key policy priority in the government's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015).
Alongside rapid urbanization, the PRC faces challenges of insufficient water resources, water pollution, and frequent flooding disasters. Over 100 out of 656 cities suffer from waterlogging in varying degrees, while urban flooding is caused by the uneven distribution of precipitation in time and space and the disappearance of flood plains. At the same time, urban stormwater management and waterlogging prevention lag infrastructure building. In many cities drainage pipes are insufficient or poorly maintained, while design standards of the stormwater system are not up to date. To date, an urban waterlogging emergency response system is yet to be established because related planning policy is lacking. These challenges are exacerbated by climate change and rapid urbanization.
More and more cities incur heavy losses because of urban waterlogging and flooding. In July 2007, the heaviest rain in the last 115 years brought 266.6 millimeters of rainfall within 24 hours in Chongqing. This tremendous amount of rain caused heavy flooding and waterlogging, which led to a death toll of more than 50 people and an economic loss of more than CNY2.1 billion. In the same month, a historically heavy rain in Shandong Province's Ji'nan City claimed the lives of 37 people and led to an economic loss of CNY1.2 billion. Waterlogging also occurs in megacities such as Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai, and contributes to property damage and heavy traffic jams. There is now an urgent need to reform policymaking related to stormwater management and waterlogging in the PRC's urban areas.
The urban sector is an ADB investment priority in the PRC. ADB has built a long strategic partnership with MOHURD for over 10 years. The partnership is built on a series of highly relevant and successful TA projects, which yielded national policy frameworks and guidelines for key urban issues facing large and medium-sized cities in the PRC. Among these were two TA projects that supported water tariff reforms, a TA project aimed at strengthening urban solid waste management, and a TA project for the development of urban wastewater tariffs. Recommendations from these TA projects have been applied in later ADB-financed loan projects in the urban sector. Two TA projects - the Urban Wastewater and Solid Waste Management for Small Cities and Towns, and the Urban Wastewater Reuse and Sludge Utilization Policy Study - are providing ongoing support to the government.