Taipei, April 10 (CNA) The newly built Hushan Reservoir in southern Taiwan is expected to go into operation in July, supplying water to Yunlin County, which has a land subsidence problem caused by groundwater overdraft, according to the Water Resources Agency (WRA).
Last year, 75 percent of the land subsidence in Taiwan occurred in Yunlin, over a total area of 600 square kilometers, said WRA Director-General Wang Ruey-der (王瑞德).
The groundwater overdraft problem in Yunlin, however, is expected to ease when Hushan Reservoir starts operating at full capacity, he said.
The reservoir, completed last December after 14 years of construction, began collecting water April 2 and is scheduled to go into service in July, Wang said.
Built on the largest dam in Taiwan, it has an optimal capacity of 52.18 million cubic meters and a catchment area of 6.58 square kilometers.
Initially, it will supply about 50,000 tons of water per day to consumers, Wang said, adding that it will take another 12-18 months before the reservoir gets up to full capacity.
By June 2017, Yunlin's supply of water from Hushan Reservoir and the nearby Jiji Dam will reach 432,000 tons per day, according to the WRA.
Amid growing environmental awareness, there have been speculations that Taiwan will stop building such structures, but WRA officials said there are still many suitable areas in the country to accommodate a reservoir.
However, the WRA will not move to build one without the consent of local residents, the officials said.
During the construction of Hushan Reservoir, work was delayed several times due to issues related to environmental protection and the preservation of historical sites.
(By Huang Chiao-wen and Elizabeth Hsu) ENDITEM/pc