Central and local governments have been collaborating on river airborne dust mitigation to reduce fugitive dust from riverbeds. The EPA recently held the “River Dust Prevention and Mitigation Workshop” to share its successful experiences with local river fugitive dust mitigation. Approximately 150 people were invited to the workshop, including people from the Water Resources Agency (WRA) of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Forest Bureau of the Council of Agriculture, local governments and environmental volunteers.
The central and local governments have produced remarkable results from their collaborative efforts in river airborne dust mitigation. No river dust events have occurred along Da'an River, Dajia River and Wu River since 2014. In the past two years, only two river dust events occurred along Beinan River. In 2019, a total of 29 river dust events occurred along Zhuoshui River, which is a 50% decrease compared to 2017 (59 events).
Special speakers from the 3rd River Management Office of the WRA and the Environmental Protection Bureau of Taichung City Government were invited to the workshop to share their experiences on river dust mitigation, from spotting problems to expanding the scope of collaboration. Through establishing a cooperation mechanism, performing joint inspections and carrying out response measures, they have achieved a record of having zero river dust events along Da'an River, Dajia River and Wu River for six consecutive years. Residents in river areas also reported significant improvements over the years.
The 4th River Management Office was also invited to explain how to analyze causes of river dust events and identify potential areas where river dust problems might occur using an integrated river basin management approach. They also covered mitigation strategies in three areas: “water conservation,” “forestation,” and “disaster prevention and response,” and proposed to use measures such as long-term water inundation or vegetation to ameliorate the dust problems that have been pestering the Zhuoshui River area for more than a century.
The Environmental Protection Bureau of Taitung County Government also shared its experiences on river dust mitigation along the Beinan River since 2001. Through satellite images, exposed riverbed inspections, a river dust alert system, public information campaigns and other response measures, the Taitung County Government successfully mitigated river dust and was awarded best mitigation performance nationwide in 2017. Its public approval rate also went up as a consequence.
Excerpt from Environmental Policy Monthly, 23 (10)
- Environmental Protection Administration, R.O.C.(Taiwan)