Fine weather heralds start of phase-three water rationing
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
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.
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.