Science-based parks around Taiwan gear up for water shortages

11/26/2020 01:35 PM
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Taipei, Nov. 26 (CNA) Science-based parks and industrial zones around Taiwan are gearing up for water shortages at a time when the country is faced with a dry season, dropping water levels in its reservoirs, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).

Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) presided over a meeting of the MOEA's emergency operations center against droughts on Wednesday on how best to conserve water.

During the meeting, the ministry decided to ask the science-based parks and industrial zones, which are perceived as two of the largest water consumers in the country, to save more water in a bid to assuage the pressure caused by low rainfall so far this year.

These science-based parks and industrial zones aim to curtail their water consumption by 7 percent from the previous 5 percent to meet the MOEA's request.

It is the first time since 1964 that Taiwan has not experienced a typhoon during the wet season, which runs from May to October, according to the Water Resources Agency (WRA).

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) and United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC), the top two contract chipmakers in Taiwan, have expressed willingness to cooperate with the MOEA to tackle the current dry season.

Both TSMC and UMC are headquartered in the Hsinchu Science Park and run sophisticated wafer plants in other science-based parks in central and southern Taiwan.

UMC said the company already has standard operating procedures on water conservation in place that can allow water consumption to be adjusted or even stopped for non-production operations such as watering plants or fire drills.

The request for higher water conservation is not expected to have any adverse effects on its production, UMC said.

UMC said the company has signed an agreement with its water suppliers to make sure emergency water supplies are available if the dry season gets any worse.

For its part, TSMC said the company will continue water rationing by cutting water supplies to non-production operations, and will keep touting the importance of water conservation to its employees.

TSMC said the dry season has had no impact on its operations.

Starting from Wednesday, the WRA has expanded general water rationing in Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Miaoli, Taichung, Chiayi and Tainan by reducing water pressure between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., a change from the previous measures that involved lowering water pressure between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.

(By Chang Chien-chung, Yang Shu-chin and Frances Huang)

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