Beijing has a complex system of waterways inside the city of 20 million people, while the rivers just outside of the city run dry most of the year. Geographic Information Systems was used to analyze the historical changes of the waterways, geo-cover, precipitation, and other factors that have affected the water supply to the city. The manmade canals in the city expanded with urbanization until 1983 when there were canals in every corner of the city. The water became too polluted for human use, so canals were slowly converted to culverts. Groundwater was depleted over time as well, so the natural flow of water has been completely disrupted in the city. The rivers and groundwater need to recover so the city can have a natural supply of water again. To do this, the water system needs to return to a more natural flow of the rivers, rather than concrete canals entering and leaving the city. This would help control groundwater levels, flood and drought problems, and the overall lack of accessible water for the city.
Tisherman, Rebecca, "Beijing’s Water Crisis: A Historical Analysis of Beijing’s Waterways using Geographic Information Systems" (2013). Environmental Studies Honors Papers. 9.
The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.