This paper reviews recent flood experience in the People's Republic of China in the context of national flood risk management policy and practice. The paper illustrates that there is a connection between flood risk management, environmental management, and ecosystem sustainability. It also highlights the need for a flood footprint and accountability system for the whole river basin and greater involvement of the private sector in flood risk management.
The recent flood events revealed that the majority of flood damages does not come from the main stem river but from small- to moderate-sized river sub-basins. Rapid urbanization of small cities and towns in these sub-basins has triggered flash flood and landslide disasters which, in the past, were not regarded as among the government’s priorities. The risks of these types of disasters are particularly difficult to manage as the impacts, though severe, are relatively localized, requiring a localized approach.