Taipei, May 1 (CNA) The Water Resources Agency said Tuesday that the torrential rainfall over the past week has relieved the strain on reservoirs in southern Taiwan caused by a months-long drought and that water supplies throughout the country will remain stable until late June.
Wu Yueh-hsi, the agency's deputy director, said that although most of the recent downpours were concentrated on coastal areas, they helped increase the amount of water in the Wushantou Reservoir in Tainan to 88 percent of its full capacity.
Meanwhile, capacity at the Tsengwen Reservoir in Chiayi and at the Nanhua Reservoir in Tainan has reached 20.7 percent and 50 percent, respectively, he added.
Water supplies will remain stable into the end of June and there will be enough water for irrigation for the year's first rice crop, Wu said.
Lin Yuan-peng, another agency official, said that if the approaching plum rain season brings additional water into the Tsengwen Reservoir, irrigation for the second rice crop in the Chiayi-Tainan area will not be a problem.
The Central Weather Bureau forecast that the seasonal plum rains will arrive in Taiwan May 3-4.
In addition, Lin went on, the agency was scheduled to launch an operation the following day with the help of the army to dredge sand and mud deposited in rivers upstream of the Tsengwen Reservoir to reduce the amount of silt flowing into the reservoir.
(By Huang Chiao-wen, Yang Sz-ruei and Jamie Wang)