Li Bing and Dujianyan

What would you do if you were in charge of flood control and irrigation?

This daunting task was once given to a man by the name of Li Bing. He and his son did a lot of research together, trying to come up with a good solution. And they did. Now, more than 2,200 years later, their project is still in use. Today, it is both the oldest and the only surviving no-dam irrigation system in the world. It is called Dujianyan.

Li Bing was from the Warring States Period. The Warring States Period was a restless time in ancient China. It spanned from around 475 B.C. to 221 B.C. During that restless era, there were many small city-states in China. They fought among themselves all the time. Li Bing was an official from the State of Qin. His country defeated the State of Shu in 316 B.C. The State of Shu was in the present-day Sichuan province (where the giant panda is from). Its capital was Chengdu. Around 277 B.C., Li Bing received an order and became the governor of the State of Shu. One of his most urgent problems was to tend the flood in Chengdu.

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