A man renowned for planning Songjiang's modern irrigation and water system
Assigned as the director of the then Songjiang County in 1957, Zhao Ren had made great efforts to build and intensify water-control projects, which improved the modern agricultural system for Songjiang, known as the city's bread basket rich in water resources.
He presided over the planning of the county's water conservancy construction, initiating different measures needed for different canal areas. Low-lying areas should be dredged and reinforced with dikes to hold the floods from upstream. In areas that suffered long-time drought and water shortage, the rivers and canals should be diverted to irrigate, while in other areas electromechanical drainage and irrigation systems needed to be set up.
In 1958, the construction of the south section of Botang River and the Xinwu Jianshe Canal started. By 1959, many rivers such as Shenjingtang, Guanshaotang, Chenshantang, Xiaoxietang, Sijingtang and Zoumatang had been dredged, making the low water areas in the north connected to the Huangpu River.
During the 1960s, the county's rivers were overall dredged and recorded, which helped map out a detailed Songjiang river network and its water system. At the same time, the mechanization and electrification of drainage and irrigation were realized. By 1966, more than 370 square kilometers of farmland were effectively irrigated by electric power, accounting for 98.5 percent of the county's total.