Who was in charge of the water conservation? - investigation of water conservation and management in the upper reaches of the Huai 1912-1949

Ren, Bo (2017) Who was in charge of the water conservation? - investigation of water conservation and management in the upper reaches of the Huai 1912-1949. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This thesis examines water conservation in the upper valley of the Huai River in Anhui Province, close to the border between north and south China, during the Republic of China (ROC) era (1912-1949). Two main flood relief and water conservation projects are studied in detail. In order to gain a deeper and broader understanding of water conservation policies and practices in China during that period, additional comparative studies were undertaken of two water conservation projects in the lower areas of the Yangtze River in south and northwest China. The main question addressed in the thesis is: What are the key factors affecting the conservation and management of water in China during the ROC era? A further aim of the thesis is to reveal the inter-relationships between water conservation and ROC government policies, and the influence of grass roots actors and international powers in that period.

This thesis includes a review of the literature on environmental history, in particular the history of water conservation. For the empirical investigation, a multi-disciplinary, mixed method was adopted, combining the study of historical documents and fieldwork in a series of detailed case studies. Firstly, this study investigates the relief work project in the upper area of the Huai River. The work and the lives of peasant labourers in a water conservation project, including their cooperation and conflicts with upper class engineers and officials are considered in order to provide a vivid and thorough exploration of the worksite. Secondly, the thesis describes and analyses the relationships between various groups (including engineers, the gentry, residents and officials of the Anfengtang Pond community), through a series of stories that highlight their activities, roles and priorities within water conservation and management initiatives. Thirdly, the thesis considers the history of the Lotus Polder and the story of the Jinghui Channel. Fourth, it explores the relationship between international politics and water conservation in the ROC to explain how modern culture and industry penetrated an old water conservation community. The interplay and influence of a wide variety of factors that affected water conservation in the ROC era, such as land policies, economic situation, national finance, wars, traditions and western factors, are addressed and analysed in this thesis.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Watkins, Charles
Georgina, Endfield
Keywords: water conservation, china, huai river, republic of china
Subjects: H Social sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
T Technology > TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Geography
Item ID: 41089
Depositing User: Ren, Bo
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2017 04:40
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2017 01:37
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/41089

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