Threat of water rationing grows

Updated: 2010-04-21 07:42

(HK Edition)

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Taiwan's only supplier of running water said Tuesday that rationing may become necessary unless the drought in the greater Tainan area breaks before mid-June.

Taiwan Water Corp (Taiwater) said that, while water reserves in major reservoirs have steadily declined owing to the drought, water supplies have remained normal at about 840,000 cubic meters per day.

Water reserves in the Nanhua Reservoir have fallen to some 24.37 million cubic meters, representing about 25 percent of the reservoir's maximum capacity, while the Zengwen Reservoir has fallen to some 20 percent of capacity, or 68.31 million cubic meters, and the Wushantou Reservoir is at about 55.83 million cubic meters, which is roughly 50 percent of its full capacity, according to Taiwater.

An official of Taiwater's Sixth District Administration said that according to hydrologic statistics compiled by Taipower over the past decade or so, May 20 is a crucial date. After that date it usually rains, ending the annual dry season in the greater Tainan area.

"If it doesn't rain after May this year, it will be necessary for Taiwater to limit water supplies," the official warned.

Meanwhile, the Executive Yuan passed a bill allowing the "Ministry of Economic Affairs" to invest NT$54 billion ($1.72 billion) over a period of six years to dredge silt from the three main reservoirs in the greater Tainan area and streamline the reservoirs' upstream catchment areas.

China Daily/CNA

(HK Edition 04/21/2010 page4)