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Author(s): Kuniyoshi Takeuchi

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Abstract: World is now in transition to warmer climate with higher variability. IPCC 2001 Report points out that “in the regions where total precipitation has increased, it is very likely that there have been even more pronounced increases in heavy and extreme precipitation events”. It is yet more serious in East Asia, that is, although the average precipitation is rather decreasing in China, the heavy and extreme precipitation events are increasing. The Great China Flood of 1998 affecting 200 million people was truly devastating and was one of the three largest floods in the Yangtze River in the 20 th century but still it was just an example of series of many floods hitting East and Southeast Asia every year especially in the 1990s. Record-breaking floods have been occurring also in Africa, North America, South America, Europe, and even in the countries in arid and semiarid regions. Floods are now all over the world. It is no wonder to have as many as 300 papers submitted from 43 countries for this Second Symposium on Flood Defence in Beijing. The enthusiasm would be due to recent flood disasters increasingly experienced in many countries, but at the same time, would be due to the fact that China is the most experienced country of great floods and her experiences have still been accumulating and used with continuous modification to new conditions. China is the country of living with floods for thousands of years and observing the lessons that improper management eventually destroys the balance between the human and the nature. Such wisdom is well presented in the vast number of reports from China. In this Symposium, the topics seem to cover nearly everything on flood management. Since flood defense is a comprehensive art, any components missing in a team will result in fail defending society from floods. Also necessary is the collaboration. The collaboration established in this Symposium among IAHS, IAHR, CHES, IHWR, IRTCES, Tsinghua University etc. should continue to make the best available science and technology to be put to practice. Trans-disciplinary alliance of science and technology is the imperative to practical application, and what science can do for the real world is the frontier mission of science in the 21 st century. Wish all the success for the Symposium searching for the contemporary way of living with floods.


Year: 2002

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