Water supply to industrial users cut further in south
Industrial water users in Tainan and Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan will soon be subject to bigger cuts in their water supply as the country continues to grapple with its worst drought in decades.
Water supplies to “big users” will be reduced by 10 percent beginning on April 15, up from the 7.5 percent reduction already in place, the Drought Central Emergency Operation Center announced Friday.
The center estimated that 1,012 industrial water users will be affected by the measure, mostly manufacturers in the electronics, basic metals, petrochemical, textile and paper-and-pulp sectors.
First- and second-phase water rationing measures have been imposed in Tainan and Kaohsiung in recent months amid the prolonged drought, while harsher thirdphase water rationing was put in place for the first time since the drought began in parts of northern Taiwan on Wednesday.
Under third-phase water rationing, water supplies are cut off to entire areas for two days a week on a rotating basis.
First- and second-phase rationing involves reducing water pressure at night and restricting water supply to consumers who usually use more than 1,000 cubic meters per month.
Facing an additional cut to its water supply, Kaohsiung- based steel maker China Steel said the upcoming cut was not expected to affect its operations thanks to wastewater recycling facilities in its plants.
State- run petroleum refiner, CPC Corp. Taiwan, whose oil refining operations are concentrated in Kaohsiung, has also said the new measure would not have a big impact on its operations.
Economics Ministry Mulls Ways
to Promote Water Recycling
The Ministry of Economic Affairs is considering measures to promote water recycling and reuse, especially in the industrial sector, to prevent the amount of water supplied to industrial users from growing any further, an official said Friday.
Taiwan is currently stuck in its worst drought in decades, and strict water rationing measures, including suspending water supplies to households two days a week, were launched in northern Taiwan on Wednesday on a rotating basis, to preserve dwindling supplies.
In Tainan and Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan, water supplies to industrial users will be cut by 10 percent beginning on April 15.
Acting on instructions from the Cabinet, the ministry is evaluating how to achieve a long-term goal of zero growth in the supply of water for industrial use even as the economy expands and has discussed the initiative with busi- ness associations, Vice Economic Affairs Minister Yang Wei- fuu said.
The ministry said it has set a national goal of generating 1.2 million cubic meters of recycled water per day by 2031, about 10 percent of the estimated nationwide public water supply by then.
Yang said the government needs to provide sources of used water for recycling and set up regulations for developing reclaimed water resources.
Economic Affairs Minister John Deng said Wednesday that the ministry is also planning to establish desalination plants in northern, central and southern Taiwan to meet future water needs.