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Cloud seeding does little to increase rainfall

2017/04/11 21:18:22

CNA file photo

Taipei, April 11 (CNA) Although the military conducted cloud seeding in the vicinity of several major reservoirs early Tuesday to maximize precipitation, the areas received only little rainfall, the Water Resources Agency (WRA) said later that day.

Taking advantage of an approaching cloud system from southern China, the WRA said, it collaborated with the military in carrying out rainmaking operations to increase precipitation in the catchment areas of several major reservoirs around the island.

However, as of 2 p.m., areas north of Hsinchu had received less than 4 millimeters of rainfall, while those in central Taiwan got about 10-15mm. Reservoirs in the south received zero precipitation, according to WRA data.

The data shows that only 1mm fell in Shimen Reservoir in Taoyuan, 4mm in the Second Baoshan Reservoir in Hsinchu, while Yongheshan, Minde and Liyutan Reservoirs in Miaoli received 10mm, 9mm and 15mm, respectively.

Zengwen Reservoir in Chiayi, Nanhua and Wusanto reservoirs in Tainan all got zero rainfall.

A WRA official attributed the less-than-expected rainfall in these areas to the later-than-expected arrival of a weather front, saying that the cloud system was forecast to envelop Taiwan Wednesday and bring much-needed rainfall to the island.

More cloud seeding and other rainmaking operations will be conducted Wednesday and the overall water supply situation will be clearer on Friday, the official said.

The WRA is hoping to hold off on second-phase water rationing in any part of the country until at least the end of April, and on third-phase rationing until the end of May, according to the official.

According to WRA data, as of Tuesday, Feitsui Reservoir in Taipei was at 84.1 percent of capacity, while Shimen and the Second Baoshan reservoirs in northern Taiwan were at 46.03 percent and 56.7 percent of capacity, respectively.

Meanwhile, water levels in Liyutan Reservoir in central Taiwan, as well as Zengwen and Nanhua reservoirs in the south were at 54.25 percent, 21.84 percent and 30.69 percent of capacity, respectively, according to the data.

(By Huang Li-yun and Evelyn Kao)