|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy
Rapid economic growth of the PRC has depended in part on reservoirs, which have been important in flood control, irrigation, hydropower generation, and water supply. The PRC has about 90,000 reservoirs. About 90% were built during the period of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution (1958-1976), using outdated and low technical
standards and inadequate plans, surveys, designs, and construction. Most of these reservoirs had been used for 30-50 years, and many of the dams and equipment were damaged and needed to be repaired and strengthened. Many of the reservoirs did not meet modern safety standards. The PRC has three safety classes of reservoirs. In the class III (most unsafe) category were 37,032 reservoirs, 43% of the total. The potential failure of class III reservoirs threatened lives and property downstream. The storage water level of many reservoirs was originally designed to match the hydrometeorological features of the watershed and downstream water demand. However, many endangered reservoirs did not store water up to the design level because of water leakage, instability of water-retaining dams, and inadequate spillway capacity for emergency discharge of rapidly rising floodwaters. As a result, these endangered reservoirs could not control floods, supply irrigation water, generate hydropower, or provide household water year-round to users. It was expected that strengthening these reservoirs would increase water supply at a lower cost and with less adverse impact on the environment and people than building new reservoirs, and would also have potentially positive benefits downstream, especially on the environment, by increasing reservoir releases for environmental flow. The government had given high priority to strengthening endangered reservoirs. The Ministry of Water Resources set up the National Reservoir Strengthening Program in 2001, with financial assistance from the government. The first phase of this program was successfully completed, and 1,346 reservoirs are now operating at design capacity. The second phase, involving the strengthening of 2,112 class III reservoirs, began in 2003. To speed up the rehabilitation of unsafe reservoirs, the third phase of the program was prepared in October 2007 specifically for 6,240 reservoirs, including those uncompleted in the second phase. The National Reservoir Strengthening Program was completed during the 11th Five-Year Plan period (2006-2010). But reservoir rehabilitation will continue beyond the program. Many unsafe reservoirs still have to be rehabilitated, and class I and II reservoirs, which were not part of the program, are foresees to deteriorate and need rehabilitation. In addition, reservoirs rehabilitated under the program must be properly operated, maintained, and managed for safety and effective use; otherwise, the rehabilitation would have been futile. To address these issues, sustainable reservoir rehabilitation and management models needed to be established in a province where reservoir safety was a serious issue, and successful models needed to be replicated throughout the PRC. Reservoir safety is of great concern to Shandong Province, among other provinces in the PRC. The Shandong provincial government recognized the urgent need for reservoir rehabilitation as well as the importance of managing the rehabilitated reservoirs properly to be able to use the reservoirs safely and effectively for economic development, but was facing technological and financing difficulties.seeks methodologies and sought methodologies for rehabilitating a huge number of unsafe reservoirs efficiently within a limited budget and for using the rehabilitated reservoirs safely and
effectively for economic development. The Shandong provincial government therefore requested a loan from ADB to establish sustainable reservoir rehabilitation and management models, through the rehabilitation, management, monitoring, and evaluation of model reservoirs.