Wa­ter cuts in Kaoh­si­ung Tue., Wed. start­ing May 5

Plas­tic bins fly­ing off shelves as cit­i­zens brace for phase-3 cuts

The China Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY JOHN LIU

Kaoh­si­ung will face wa­ter re­stric­tions ev­ery Tues­day and Wed­nes­day as the sched­uled phase-three ra­tioning kicks in on May 5.

As the flow of the Gaop­ing River ( ), the city’s main wa­ter sup­ply, con­tin­ues to dwin­dle, the wa­ter sup­ply mon­i­tor­ing in­di­ca­tor will likely flash a “red” sig­nal for Kaoh­si­ung on May 4, ac­cord­ing to the Cen­tral Emer­gency Op­er­a­tion Cen­ter.

The wa­ter flow of the Gaop­ing River is cur­rently pegged at 9.5 cu­bic me­ters per sec­ond, sub­stan­tially lower than the av­er­age of 34.7 cu­bic me­ters.

With­out pre­cip­i­ta­tion in the com­ing days, the wa­ter flow is bound to di­min­ish fur­ther, au­thor­i­ties said. This will give rise to the need for the third-stage ra­tioning, the Wa­ter Re­sources Agency ex­plained.

In the fu­ture, the gov­ern­ment will re­fer to the Cen­tral Weather Bureau’s data and re­view up­dates re­gard­ing the state of the wa­ter sup­ply ev­ery Fri­day.

If a sta­ble 8.1-cu­bic-me­ter or more wa­ter flow ex­ists in the Gaop­ing River, the re­stric­tions will be halted for the com­ing week. If the wa­ter flow re­mains be­low that thresh­old, the ra­tioning will pro­ceed as planned.

Lo­cal Res­i­dents Race to Ac­quire Stor­age De­vices

The ra­tioning sched­ule re­port­edly drew ire from res­i­dents of Kaoh­si­ung, who com­plained of the in­con­ve­nience of hav­ing no wa­ter for two con­tin­u­ous days. They pro­posed one day of wa­ter cuts af­ter three days of regular sup­ply in­stead.

An of­fi­cial from Tai­wan Wa­ter Cor­po­ra­tion ( ) said in re­sponse that the ra­tioning sched­ule was determined af­ter tak­ing wa­ter stor­age, pres­sure and qual­ity into con­sid­er­a­tion.

This is the first time for phasethree ra­tioning to be im­ple­mented in Kaoh­si­ung as Tai­wan ex­pe­ri­ences its worst drought in 67 years.

With wa­ter re­stric­tions loom­ing, res­i­dents of Kaoh­si­ung have re­port­edly been rac­ing to pur­chase plas­tic bins to store wa­ter.

Re­tail­ers re­ported higher de­mand for large plas­tic bins as they sought to re­fill in­ven­tory. Sales of plas­tic bins grew by 30 to 50 per­cent, said re­tail­ers.

Apart­ment res­i­dents and busi­ness own­ers have made the most pur­chases. Res­i­dents living in tall apart­ments opt for smaller bins due to their limited stor­age space, how­ever, wa­ter reser­voirs in such build­ings tend to have larger ca­pac­i­ties.

Swim­ming Pools to Close

Swim­ming pools around Kaoh­si­ung are closing down in a bid to con­serve wa­ter. The Grand Hi Lai Ho­tel ( ) will close its swim­ming pool on May 4 while re­duc­ing wa­ter sup­ply to other rooms.

The Grand Ho­tel Kaoh­si­ung ( ) plans to close its swim­ming pool on the days of ra­tioning as well.

Han-Hsien In­ter­na­tional Ho­tel ( ) will close its sauna and swim­ming pool start­ing on May 3.

The se­vere drought has af­fected es­sen­tially all ar­eas along Tai­wan’s West Coast. Be­sides New Taipei City and Taoyuan, which are cur­rently experiencing phase-three ra­tioning, Yun­lin and Chi­ayi are cur­rently un­der phase-one ra­tioning.

Kaoh­si­ung, Tainan and Miaoli are in the midst of phase-two ra­tioning. Nan­tou faces a some­what tight wa­ter sup­ply, while Yi­lan, Hualien and Taitung, as well as south­ern Ping­tung, have no short­age of wa­ter.

CNA

Res­i­dents of Kaoh­si­ung look for wa­ter stor­age de­vices, yes­ter­day. The Wa­ter Re­sources Agency an­nounced yes­ter­day that the city’s first manda­tory phasethree wa­ter cuts will be im­ple­mented ev­ery Tues­day and Wed­nes­day be­gin­ning in May.

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