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Taiwan may soon impose water rationing as reservoir levels fall

2017/02/15 15:21:27

(CNA file photo)

Taipei, Feb. 15 (CNA) The Water Resources Agency (WRA) is set to convene a meeting Feb. 21 to discuss whether to impose first-stage water rationing as a result of lower than average rainfall in most of Taiwan over the past few months.

The water supply in Linkou, Banqiao and Xinzhuang districts in New Taipei and in Taoyuan, Hsinchu and Kaohsiung began flashing a "green" light earlier this month, suggesting a tight water supply, leading to various water system management and conservation measures, the WRA said.

From November 2016 to Feb. 10, roughly 120 million cubic meters of water was saved through various water conservation measures around the country, which is roughly half of the capacity of Shimen Reservoir in northern Taiwan.

Due to insufficient rainfall, however, water reserves at Shimen Reservoir and at Nanhua and Tsengwen reservoirs in southern Taiwan were down to less than 60 percent of their capacity as of Wednesday.

If the persistent dry spell continues, a "yellow" light, which triggers the first stage of water restrictions, will be issued for the city of Taoyuan and Linkou, Banqiao and Xinzhuang districts, most of which are served by Shimen Reservoir.

First-stage water rationing means tap water pressure will be reduced during off-peak hours, according to the WRA.

If the dry weather conditions persist, the WRA is also expected to flash a "green" light on Feb. 23 for Miaoli, Taichung, Chiayi and Tainan, signaling tight supply and suggesting that water resource allocation needs to be adjusted, it said.

(By Huang Ya-chuan and Evelyn Kao)
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