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No water supply issues at Hsinchu Science Park before April: MOEA

2019/02/11 18:28:52

Taipei, Feb. 11 (CNA) Water supply to the Hsinchu Science Park is expected to remain normal before April despite falling water levels at two reservoirs on which the science park depends, Economic Affairs Minister Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) said Monday.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a Lunar New Year gathering, Shen said the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) will transfer water from Taoyuan and Miaoli in a bid to maintain water supply to the science park.

Wang Yi-feng (王藝峰), deputy director of the MOEA's Water Resources Agency said Shihmen Reservoir in Taoyuan and Yongheshan Reservoir in Miaoli will provide Hsinchu Science Park with water if needed.

Shen said the MOEA will call a meeting Friday to review water supply around the country.

However, he offered no details about the water supply in the science park after March.

With Taiwan entering a drought period, water levels in many reservoirs have been falling.

As of Monday morning, the water level at Baoshan Reservoir and Baoer Reservoir in Hsinchu had fallen to 48.3 percent and 37.2 percent of capacity, respectively, from 59.9 percent and 44.15 percent at the end of January.

Falling water levels at the two reservoirs have raised concerns over water supply to Hsinchu Science Park, which houses tech giants, such as contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) and its smaller rival United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) along with many others.

In addition to power use, these high tech firms rely on high levels of water consumption to maintain day to day operations.

TSMC told CNA that the company has adopted water conservation measures since last year such as the increased use of recycled water and does not currently expect to have to introduce further measures.

For its part, UMC said despite the falling water levels at the two reservoirs, the company is unconcerned about supply and there are no plans to activate its mechanism to deal with tight water supply.

Taiwan's economic development faces the so called "five shortages" -- land, water, electricity, skilled workers and manpower -- which have long been a bugbear of the industrial sector.

(By Liao Yu-yang, Chang Chien-chung and Frances Huang)