Tainan, Kaohsiung water rationing may start in May
As water shortage continues to plague Taiwan, the Central Emergency Operation Center will hold a third meeting this Friday, considering the launch of phase-three water rationing in Tainan and Kaohsiung at the end of May.
Although seasonal rainfall usually arrives around Tomb Sweeping Day ( ), it was not the case this year. Over the past weekend temperatures reached new spring highs. Monday saw a little precipitation in the south, but mostly centered on the island’s southern peninsula in Pingtung.
There has been less than expected precipitation, and if the dire water state persists, phase-three water rationing will have to be introduced in Tainan and Kaohsiung ahead of schedule, said Vice Economic Affairs Minister Yang Wei-fu ( ).
The phase-three rationing is scheduled to start today in New Taipei City, Taoyuan and Hsinchu. Residents of these areas will experience five days of regular supply followed by two days week.
The Shimen Reservoir ( ), which supplies water mainly to the three areas affected by the rationing, was bestowed with about 15 millimeters of rainfall on Monday evening. The precipitation added less than 2.5 million cubic meters of water to the reservoir, which has a limited impact on alleviating drought.
Despite the rainfall on Monday, the water level in the Shimen Reservoir has declined instead of going up, indicating “the inflow cannot cover the outflow,” said Yang, who called on the public to conserve water.
of water cuts every
Water Levels in Kaohsiung and
Tainan Fall Short
The Central Emergency Operation Center is scheduled to convene a meeting on Friday to review the latest state of water on the island, of which Tainan and Kaohsiung will be the focus.
Kaohsiung City, the nation’s largest municipality in area, is in an especially dire situation. The city has no reservoirs and has to rely on Gaoping River ( ) for its water supply.
The river’s water flow has dropped to 8 cubic meters of water per second, which is about 700,000 cubic meters per day. It is actually less than half of the average volume — more than 1.4 million cubic meters.
The city has few alternate water sources. Although Kaohsiung has tapped its reserve water storage, the need still outruns the supply.
Tainan has three reservoirs — Zengwen Reservoir ( ), Wusanto Reservoir ( ) and Nanhua Reservoir ( ) — but the continuous drought has inevita- bly exerted pressure.
The Zengwen Reservoir received 12 millimeters of rainfall on Monday, and currently uses just 21.5 percent of its capacity.
Yang said the government
will tally up recent precipitation in Friday’s meeting, and if the supply falls short, the notion that “no phasethree water rationing for Tainan and Kaohsiung before the end of May” may longer hold true.
(Left) Gaoping River ( ), the main source of Kaohsiung’s water supply, is shown in the picture taken yesterday. As the river’s water flow dwindles and drought conditions persist, the government is considering implementing phase-three rationing in Kaohsiung and Tainan ahead of schedule. (Right) A local stores water in his home yesterday. Phase-three water rationing starts today in New Taipei City, Taoyuan and Hsinchu. The government suggested that affected residents accumulate spare water before midnight for later use. The rationing dictates five days of regular supply followed by two days of no water supply.