Fine weather her­alds start of phase-three wa­ter ra­tioning

The China Post - - BUSINESS - BY JOHN LIU

As the is­land saw sunny skies and lit­tle rain­fall over the last few days, the wa­ter level in the Shi­men Reser­voir ( ) de­clined again, prompt­ing the gov­ern­ment to start the sched­uled phase-three wa­ter ra­tioning on Wed­nes­day.

The na­tion was blessed with fine weather dur­ing the four-day Tomb Sweep­ing hol­i­days ( ). Tem­per­a­tures are ris­ing, and they reached 34.5 de­grees Cel­sius yes­ter­day, the high­est of the spring so far.

It may not be com­pletely good news: The wa­ter level at the Shi­men Reser­voir was pegged at 220 me­ters as of 8 a.m. yes­ter­day, still 25 me­ters away from full ca­pac­ity. It cur­rently holds 49.92 mil­lion cu­bic me­ters of wa­ter, putting the reser­voir at 24.81 per­cent of ca­pac­ity.

The wa­ter de­posit is rel­a­tively low, about 90 mil­lion cu­bic me­ters less com­pared with years ear­lier, said Wa­ter Re­sources Agency ( WRA) Sec­re­tary- Gen­eral Lai Chien-hsin ( ). Un­less there are new showers, phase-three ra­tioning will kick-start as planned, he said.

The reser­voir used only 20 per­cent of ca­pac­ity on March 23. It rose to 25 per­cent af­ter a mon­soon brought in some rain­fall. The ca­pac­ity has gone back down lately, how­ever.

Phase-three wa­ter ra­tioning re­quires five days of regular sup­ply ev­ery week fol­lowed by two days of wa­ter cuts. It will af­fect up to 1.16 mil­lion house­holds in parts of New Taipei City (Ban­qiao, Xinzhuang and Linkou), Taoyuan City and part of Hs­inchu County.

Weather Front Brings Showers

to Reser­voirs

Ac­cord­ing to the Cen­tral Weather Bureau (CWB), a weather front moved south af­ter noon yes­ter­day. Chances of rain­fall have there­fore in­creased in Cen­tral and North­ern Tai­wan.

The front brought in showers for the is­land’s south­ern tip in Ping­tung. Mu­dan Reser­voir (

) saw 90 mil­lime­ters of rain­fall, which added 200,000 cu­bic me­ters of wa­ter. The reser­voir is now at 37 per­cent ca­pac­ity.

Baoshan Sec­ond Reser­voir Scenic Area ( ) saw 27 mil­lime­ters of rain­fall, the sec­ond largest amount yes­ter­day. How­ever, it has used only 27.3 per­cent of its ca­pac­ity.

The Shi­men

Reser­voir saw a rel­a­tively lower 9 mil­lime­ters of rain­fall. Since the new rain­fall is not im­me­di­ately re­flected in the reser­voir’s wa­ter hold, as of 5 p.m. yes­ter­day, the wa­ter level was pegged at 219.99 me­ters, still 25.01 me­ters from full ca­pac­ity. The wa­ter de­posit stood at 49.89 mil­lion cu­bic me­ters of wa­ter, rep­re­sent­ing 24.79 per­cent ca­pac­ity. The Agong­dian Reser­voir (

) also had 9 mil­lime­ters of rain­fall yes­ter­day. It now uses 41 per­cent of its ca­pac­ity. Zeng­wen Reser­voir ( ) had 12 mil­lime­ters of rain­fall. It uses 21.5 per­cent of its ca­pac­ity.

The rest of the na­tion’s 94 reser­voirs had rel­a­tively lit­tle rain­fall yes­ter­day, and the is­land is still in a state of drought, said the WRA.

Chances of spring showers are highly un­cer­tain. Weather fore­casts do not point to sub­stan­tial rain­fall in April, WRA’s Lai said, adding that the mon­soon sea­son in May is more likely to quench the is­land’s thirst.

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