Large-size gravitational waterways have been built one after another in the DPRK, rendering great services to its agricultural development and the improvement of its people’s living standards.
Changed irrigation system
Such main granaries of the country as Yoltusamcholli, Yonbaek and Ryongchon plains are mainly distributed on the west coastal area.
The Phyongnam and Kiyang irrigation systems and other big and small irrigation networks and waterways built in the past were based on electricity-driven backwater pumping systems.
A large number of pumping stations were built and equipment used for the operation of those irrigation networks, which resulted in consumption of much electric power, labour and materials.
In April 2000, the project for the Kaechon-Lake Thaesong Waterway, a large-size gravitational waterway covering several areas of provinces, cities and counties, kicked off in the west coastal area to supply irrigation water to paddy and non-paddy fields. Similar projects had been long since promoted in the rural communities in a small scale.
The completion of the Kaechon-Lake Thaesong Waterway made it possible for the Taedong River to fill more than 20 reservoirs, flowing through the 150-km-long main waterway from the Taegak Youth Dam to provide irrigation water to over a hundred thousand hectares of crop land.
It was followed by the completion of the Paengma-Cholsan and Miru Plain gravitational waterways, respectively in October 2005 and September 2009, and the 190-odd-km-long South Hwanghae Provincial Waterway this year.
As a result, a giant gravity-fed irrigation network has been formed in the vast areas of North and South Phyongan provinces, Pyongyang Municipality, Nampho City, and North and South Hwanghae provinces.
Benefits from waterways
There is an old saying “Killing two birds with one stone”.
The gravitational waterways prove their worth in the realities.
They contributed to increasing crop yield. Many dry fields have been transformed into paddy fields and the area of land for double-crop farming has been expanded. Safe farming is also possible in the reclaimed tideland free from drought damage.
Many pumping stations and equipment are of no use. The completion of the Kaechon-Lake Thaesong, Paengma-Cholsan and Miru Plain gravitational waterways resulted in removing some 670 pumping stations and economizing in more than 120 000 kW of electric power for running over 1 000 water pumps and motors.
The Taegak Youth Power Station, Phyongwon power stations Nos. 1, 2 and 3 and other medium and small power stations have been built.
The water is used not only for irrigation but for drinking and industrial purposes. Road networks have been arranged in a more rational way to accommodate vehicle and passenger traffic.
The natural environments around those waterways have been improved.
Big and small reservoirs and waterway networks are playing the role of preventing flood damage caused by torrential rain. New rural villages have been built along the waterways and trees and flowering shrubs planted around the fish breeding grounds in reservoirs, and mountains, adding more beauty to their landscape.
The work of building gravitational waterways is in full swing in several provinces, cities and counties as suited to their geographical features.