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.

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