Taichung preparing for water supply cuts starting Tuesday

04/04/2021 04:45 PM
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A Taichung resident collect water at a construction site in the central city. Photo courtesy of Taichung City government
A Taichung resident collect water at a construction site in the central city. Photo courtesy of Taichung City government

Taipei, April 4 (CNA) The Taichung City government and private sector are preparing to deal with a weekly two-day suspension of water supply, which is scheduled to start Tuesday, as parts of central and southern Taiwan battle a severe drought.

Starting Tuesday, the water supply to large parts of Taichung and some areas of Miaoli, Changhua and Hsinchu will be cut on a rotational basis for two days each week, affecting an estimated 1,064,000 customers, according to the Water Resources Agency (WRA).

In a recent statement, the Taichung City government said it had been preparing for the stringent water rationing measures since October, as the water levels have been falling in Liyutan, Te-Chi, and Shih-Gang reservoirs that supply the city.

The city government said it has put in place arrangements such as six water recycling centers, where residents can obtain free water for wetting plants and cleaning their homes.

By the end of April, the city government said, it will also have 10 water purification machines in place at various locations throughout the city, which will each provide 15 cubic meters of free drinking water per day to residents.

As part of the conservation measures, the city government is closing all public swimming pools in Taichung, with effect from Tuesday, while schools have been asked to recycle water for some purposes, according to the statement.

A water collection point set up by CMP Group. Photo courtesy of CMP Group
A water collection point set up by CMP Group. Photo courtesy of CMP Group

In the private sector, developer CMP Group said it is collecting 20,000 cubic meters of groundwater per day at one of its construction sites, which will be provided to factories and members of the public.

As part of the water conservation efforts in central Taiwan, the restaurant chain Chun Shui Tang said some items will be taken off its menu and it will switch to disposable tableware.

Meanwhile, the general merchandise chain Showba said that after the central government announced the water supply cuts on March 24, sales of buckets jumped 80 percent in one week at its stores in the region.

The hypermarket chain Carrefour also reported a sharp increase in sales of bottled drinking water, wet wipes and hand sanitizers over the past week.

Dredging works are underway at Liyutan Reservoir, where the water level was at 10.22 percent of capacity of capacity on Sunday. CNA photo April 3, 2021
Dredging works are underway at Liyutan Reservoir, where the water level was at 10.22 percent of capacity of capacity on Sunday. CNA photo April 3, 2021

As of Sunday, the water level at Liyutan Reservoir was at 10.22 percent of capacity, and at Te-Chi 5.68 percent, WRA data showed.

The impending weekly two-day suspension of water supply is the most stringent water rationing measure introduced in central Taiwan in nearly 50 years, according to Lin Yi-hsiung (林義雄), an official at Taiwan Water Corp.

(By Chao Li-yan, Hao Hsueh-chin, Su Mu-chun and Kay Liu)

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