Zhijiang Hydrological Station is situated on the Qiantang River in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China. Like all rivers this needs to be carefully monitored to make sure its levels are maintained, and that timely flood warnings can be issued to keep communities living by the river safe.
Hydrological engineer Jiajian Shao has worked there for 10 years. He has developed an occupational habit — whether it is on weekend or at night, as long as it rains, questions flow through his mind. Is the water level rising? How much faster is the flow rate? How long will it rain? Heavy rains magnify his concerns, as they can lead to floods.
"Hydrological research here is like taking the pulse of a river. Changes in metrics like water level, flow velocity, and rate ar