North could face deeper wa­ter cut: MOEA

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY ENRU LIN

The Eco­nomics Min­istry said that if the drought does not ease, the Cen­tral Emer­gency Op­er­a­tion Cen­ter ( ) will con­sider tighter ra­tioning in North­ern Tai­wan, pos­si­bly cut­ting off the wa­ter sup­ply for two days ev­ery two days.

Third-phase wa­ter ra­tioning be­gan yes­ter­day in Hs­inchu, Taoyuan and parts of New Taipei, amid the worst drought in more than 60 years. For an in­def­i­nite pe­riod of time, the state-run wa­ter com­pany will cut off the sup­ply to house­holds and in­dus­tries for two days a week.

The Cen­tral Emer­gency Op­er­a­tion Cen­ter will con­sider fur­ther tight­en­ing re­stric­tions, pos­si­bly cut­ting wa­ter for two days ev­ery four days or for two days ev­ery two days, Vice Eco­nomics Min­is­ter Yang Wei-fu ( ) said yes­ter­day.

The cri­sis cen­ter will de­lib­er­ate at its fourth meet­ing on Tai­wan’s wa­ter sup­ply sit­u­a­tion at the end of April, he said.

Also yes­ter­day, Yang said the MOEA will de­cide Fri­day whether to begin phase- three ra­tioning in Greater Kaoh­si­ung, where the Gaop­ing River ( ) has dropped to half its av­er­age vol­ume.

Wa­ter is Clean: EPA

The En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion (EPA, ) re­ported yes­ter­day that drink­ing wa­ter in re­gions hit by ra­tioning is in com­pli­ance with safety stan­dards. The EPA re­leased its lat­est in­spec­tions re­port on pu­ri­fied wa­ter in New Taipei City, Taoyuan City, Hs­inchu City, Hs­inchu Coun- ty, Miaoli County, Greater Taichung, Changhua County, Greater Tainan, Greater Kaoh­si­ung and other re­gions un­der the wa­ter ra­tioning.

The drink­ing wa­ter in th­ese re­gions is in com­pli­ance with the cen­tral gov­ern­ment’s qual­ity stan­dards, ac­cord­ing to the EPA.

Yuan Shao-ying ( ), direc­tor-gen­eral of the EPA’s Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal San­i­ta­tion and Toxic Sub­stances, said it is not ad­vis­able to drink wa­ter from streams or other un­known sources in times of drought.

Yuan also urged the public to check for a food safety la­bel when pur­chas­ing bot­tled wa­ter and to not store wa­ter for ex­tended pe­ri­ods of time. Wa­ter should be boiled once be­fore drink­ing, Yuan said.

Aborted Cloud-Seed­ing

Wa­ter Re­sources Agency (

) Chief Sec­re­tary Lai Chienhsin ( ) said they are mak­ing prepa­ra­tions for tighter ra­tioning while also car­ry­ing out mea­sures to avert it.

But the sea­sonal rain fore­cast is un­clear and un­pre­dictable, Lai said.

Late yes­ter­day, the cen­ter had aborted a cloud-seed­ing pro­gram when an ex­pected con­ti­nen­tal cold front dis­si­pated ahead of fore­cast, he said.

The Wa­ter Re­sources Agency said it is mon­i­tor­ing the reser­voirs and the re­sults of phase-three ra­tioning in north­ern Tai­wan, which be­gan yes­ter­day. The Shih­men Reser­voir ( ), where the drought’s ef­fects are most se­ri­ous, was at 24.58 per­cent ca­pac­ity at 11 a.m. yes­ter­day.

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