The Rebirth of Caogong Canal


In the 21st century, how do we well respond to era changes with successful transformation and reuse the Caogong Canal - a water route with the history of a hundred more years, will be definitely an issue worthy of insightful contemplation.

From 2001 on, the Alliance of Wetlands Taiwan Organization proposed the title of Lost Pearl Glow in City to publish the warning about the future of agriculture canals and ponds. It was hoped to provoke the attention from all aspects for protection activities. In 2006, they also hosted the "Caogong Canal Rebirth Activity "with the expectation that the issue about the past glow of Caogong Canal could receive more governmental and civil emphasis.

1.The Rank Elevation

Problem Encountered : No matter in legal or managerial consideration, the Caogong Canal is ever viewed as a river.

Recently, due to agriculture decline, farming land remapping and urban development, there are many agriculture irrigating water paths intercepted, or there have been some agriculture water paths used as the ditches for the drainage lines of surrounding industry and household waste water. Along the pond paths, there are also some areas facing the crisis of land filling because the irrigating function of ponds has been gradually decreased. There are some canal paths and ponds existing mostly adjacent to urban rims of no manual management.

Because of canal paths and ponds of the Caogong Canal used for irrigating ditches, once the said ditches are polluted, it will bring about the problematic pollutions on water quality. In general river renovation engineering, for goals like water quality,water volume, the renovation of high wet lands, the flood prevention and the setting for ecological re-conservation, there should be some criteria and confinements well regulated to ensure the quality of river quality. However, in view of legal and managerial mechanisms, the Caogong Canal is merely held as an irrigating ditch but never a course of river upstream. Thus, only depending on the protection regulated hydrology laws, there will be no necessary confinements and regulations as aforesaid. Nevertheless, if we never take aforesaid issues into consideration, it will finally leads to many more problems in the long term!

Solution:The Legal Rank Elevation of the Caogong Canal

Step 1: People can organize the management committee for water courses surrounding the Caogong Canal. The committee members should cover the cross-boundary and cross-department agencies from the city and county governments including some units like the Council of Agriculture, the Construction and Planning Agency, the Water Resources Agency, the Environment Protection Agency, the Kaohsiung City Mayor and County Magistrate, the Water Resources Bureau of Kaohsiung County, the Sewer Department of Kaohsiung Municipal Government and the Farm Farm Irrigation Association of Kaohsiung., etc.

Step 2: The Kaohsiung City and County governments can cooperate to elevate the legal status of the Caogong Canal. Comparing the Love River and the Caogong Canal, we can delineate whether they belong to rivers or canals. For example, the title of Caogong Canal can be changed to the Caogong Stream or Caogong River but traditional irrigating canals. It is because the Caogong Canal is exactly the water supply origin of all major rivers and lakes surrounding Kaohsiung areas (including the Love River, the Fong Shan River, the Cianjheng River, the Cheng Ching Lake, Lotus Pond, Golden Lion Lake, Chiufanpi Pond, Shetzulin Pond, Bagualiao and Guainbei, etc.), namely the hydrological mother of the Kaohsiung City.

Step 3: The central government should take shape in relevant planning and management such as periodical inspection on river water quality from rivers, wetlands and embankment, together with pollution prevention, etc. It is required to propose the plausible counter measures about renovation and implement overall survey. It is aimed to ensure and conserve the remaining major and secondary water paths of the Caogong Canal so that the tasks can be cored to protect river basins and wetland systems. The tasks should be integrated with flood prevention, landscape improvement, ecological conservation and improvement on polluted water.


Despite aforesaid 3 steps with clearly simple description, the actual tasks will definitely face considerable hardship for implementation. If the aforesaid 3 steps can be implemented thoroughly, the achievement of environment conservation will be better. Hopefully, in the very near future, Caogong Canal, the vital irrigating ditch, can be well conserved and it will be good enough to become the optimal resort scene for citizens.


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