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Aug 4, 2008

Flood control

Given the two recent typhoons and the unexpectedly wide-spread flooding from the first (and weaker) one, there's been lots of talk in the local political scene about flood-control measures. In particular, some have wondered aloud if part of the damage could have been prevented if the KMT legislature had passed the DPP flood-control budget back in the old administration.

Instead of reviewing and things up or down, back during Chen's administration the KMT preferred to bottle things up in committee forever. That included Chen's Control Yuan nominees, who were not reviewed at all, causing the Control Yuan to effectively shut down for, I think, close to two years; it included the annual budget at one point; and it also included this flood control budget. Not to speak of other bills.

Well, the budget was stalled for a total of about 2 years starting from the time Frank Hsieh was Premier. But it was passed before the end of the DPP term, and local governments did get to spend the money. I can't find much proof that stalling the budget limited any flood control measures from being implemented.

My guess is that no matter what Taiwan is doing about this, there are two major issues: poor drainage in cities and lack of water-holding reservoirs in rural areas. So it's pretty tough to do much about flooding until you take large scale measures in these two areas.

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