Since 2019, Kaohsiung Water Resources Bureau has embarked on a 3 to 5 years river regulation plan while proposing a short-term solution to avoid flooding. The extremely downpours on May 21, 2020, therefore, didn’t cause much damage to the downtown area, and the water receded relatively fast as well.
In addition, renovations of the waterfront area from New Provincial Highway No. 17 to the riverbank of Yicyun Bridge, including riverside trail, hedgerows, nodes, and murals, will be carried out soon. It is hoped that with a combination of activities in the future, there will be a boom in tourism in the northern Kaohsiung’s riverfront area.
The new Caogong Irrigation Canal serves as an irrigation canal for the Farm Irrigation Association. It draws water from the Gaoping River, flows westbound through Dashu District, Niaosong District, Renwu District and finally converges into Hou-Jin River at Ba-Kong Bridge. Besides irrigation, the Canal also functions as drainage in the downtown area.
Initially, the irrigation system of the New Caogong Irrigation Canal wasn’t separated from the drainage system. When typhoons struck, channels were susceptible to flooding due to the poor drainage.
Since 2007, the Kaohsiung City Government has successfully undertaken the renovations of the New Caogong Irrigation Canal — a total of 4.47 km, starting from the north of Shuiguan Rd., Niaosong District to Hou-Jin River. The irrigation system was separated from the drainage system, individual channels were widened, and bridges, such as Da-Ren Northern Rd. Bridge, were rebuilt. The area has been spared from flooding for ten years as a result.
On Aug. 27-28, 2018, the water level of Hou-Jin River rose rapidly due to a series of short-time heavy rainfall, rendering the water level of upstream of the New Caogong Irrigation Canal to rise.
Unable to discharge duly, the New Caogong Irrigation Canal was inundated. What was worse, the stormwater sewer system wasn’t functioning efficiently. Fifty hectares of Renwu District suffered from a 30 to 50 cm high flood as a result.
According to the research conducted by the Water Bureau Department, the cause of the inundation was the river bottleneck of Hou-Jin River. Shih-Lung River’s tremendous and rapid flow also exacerbated the flood.
To solve the problem, the Water Resources Bureau came up with a series of river renovation plans, stretching a 1.15 km from the THSR Bridge on Shuiguan Rd. to Ba-Kong Bridge. The renovation requires approximately 3 to 5 years to complete.
Since the renovation of the Hou-Jin River couldn’t be completed in a short amount of time, the Water Resources Bureau elevated the revetment of the New Caogong Irrigation Canal and focused on the stormwater dredging. Hence, on May 21, 2020, the extremely heavy rain caused less damage to the downtown area and the water receded more rapidly.
On the other hand, the Hou-Jin River underwent three phases of riverbank renovations from 2001 to 2010. Parts of the Yicyun Bridge are in need of renovation, and thus the Water Resources Bureau has started the operation from the New Provincial Highway No.17 to Yicyun Bridge since 2020.
The construction of the riverside trail, hedgerows, nodes, and murals started operation on June 5, 2020, and is expected to be done by February 2021. After completion, the gorgeous riverbank, coupled with interesting activities held by the government, could definitely attract tourists.
An advertisement from the Water Ressources Bureau from Kaohsiung City Government | 高雄市政府水利局廣告