Tainan, Kaoh­si­ung see ‘up­graded’ phase-2 wa­ter ra­tioning


As the state of wa­ter short­age con­tin­ues in South­ern Tai­wan, an “up­graded ver­sion” of sec­ond­phase wa­ter ra­tioning is set to kick-start to­day in Tainan and Kaoh­si­ung.

It means wa­ter cut to industrial users will be hiked from 7.5 per­cent to 10 per­cent. The mea­sure is meant to stave off phase-three wa­ter ra­tioning in the two cities, said Vice Eco­nomics Min­is­ter Yang Wei-fu ( ).

Yang down­played the po­ten­tial im­pact of the “up­graded” ra­tioning, say­ing that most firms have wa­ter stor­age fa­cil­i­ties that can be tapped to meet short-term de­mand. The in­dus­try will be able to cope with the ra­tioning, he said.

The ra­tioning was deemed nec­es­sary as the flow of the Gaop­ing River ( ), the main source of Kaoh­si­ung’s wa­ter sup­ply, has seen sig­nif­i­cant de­clines. The cur­rent flow of 10.2 cu­bic me­ters of wa­ter per sec­ond pales in com­par­i­son to lev­els in past years.

Ac­cord­ing to weather fore­casts, sunny skies will persist in the area for the next few days. The river’s flow may fur­ther decline but not by a sub­stan­tial amount, as ear­lier rain­fall had in­fused the river with some wa­ter.

In an ef­fort to al­le­vi­ate drought, the Min­istry of Na­tional De­fense and the Min­istry of Eco­nomic Af­fairs (MOEA) will col­lab­o­rate to carry out cloud seed­ing when con­di­tions al­low.

Shih­men Reser­voir at un­der 25

Per­cent of Full Ca­pac­ity

Phase- three wa­ter ra­tioning was launched a week ago in North­ern Tai­wan, where some res­i­dents of New Taipei City, Hs­inchu and Taoyuan faced wa­ter cut five days a week.

The Wa­ter Re­sources Agency (WRA) un­der the MOEA said a re­duc­tion in wa­ter use along with pre­cip­i­ta­tion brought by last week’s mon­soon has put a stop on Shih­men Reser­voir’s ( ) fall­ing wa­ter lev­els. As of 9 a.m. yes­ter­day, the wa­ter level was pegged at 220.06 me­ters, and the reser­voir now sits at 24.92 per­cent of its full ca­pac­ity, slightly higher than 24.58 per­cent recorded a week ago. Wa­ter hold also rose from 49.7 mil­lion cu­bic me­ters to 50.03 cu­bic me­ters.

The Shih­men Reser­voir’s wa­ter out­flow reg­is­tered at 1.37 mil­lion cu­bic me­ters last Tues­day, the eve of phase-three ra­tioning.

Wa­ter out­flow fell to 600,000 cu­bic me­ters on the first day of the ra­tioning, and then rose to 1.13 mil­lion, 1.21 mil­lion, 1.11 mil­lion, and 955,600 cu­bic me­ters of wa­ter, be­fore climb­ing up 1.43 mil­lion on Mon­day.

While out­flow ex­ceeded inflow on some of those days, the WRA said ac­tual use was not as sub­stan­tial, as a great pro­por­tion was chan­neled to stor­age pools.

Two Other Reser­voirs

The Yonghe­shan Reser­voir (

) in Miaoli County also wit­nessed a rise in wa­ter level, which cur­rently reg­is­ters at 69.11 me­ters. The reser­voir now uses 27.9 per­cent of its full ca­pac­ity.

The wa­ter level in the Zeng­wen Reser­voir ( ), which lies on the bor­der of Tainan and Chi­ayi, dipped to 198.17 me­ters, how­ever. The reser­voir uses only 19.5 per­cent of its full ca­pac­ity.


The cracked lake bed of the Agong­dian Reser­voir ( ) in Kaoh­si­ung is seen in this photo taken yes­ter­day. As the drought con­tin­ues, the gov­ern­ment is ramp­ing up wa­ter ra­tioning for industrial users in Tainan and Kaoh­si­ung to­day.

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