Beijing is sinking

Excessive pumping of groundwater: DARES’ partner Roberto Tomas is analysing the impact of subsidence on infrastructure integrity

The capital of China is sinking due to the excessive pumping of groundwater. Not every district of Beijing is sinking at the same time, for instance, the business district is subsiding 11 cm each year.

Beijing sits in a dry plain in which there is a lot of accumulated groundwater. So, as water wells are dried and water table drops, the underlying soil compacts. There are thousands of water wells in and around Beijing over which the State has power regarding their installation, but not always with success. To improve this water crisis, in 2015 12,400 km of channels and tunnels were constructed to divert water to the capital, but it is too early to know if this solution will help to recharge aquifers.

A study was conducted on the subsidence of the city because of the threat that the sinking represents for Beijing and because of the huge impact it may have in drainage operations. This study was published in the Remote Sensing Journal and it was carried out with InSAR technology. DARES’ partner Roberto Tomas, was one of the seven academics and engineers who participated in this study that is mainly analyzing the impacts of subsidence on infrastructures.

Retrieved from: The Guardian


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