Water cuts in Kaohsiung Tue., Wed. starting May 5
Plastic bins flying off shelves as citizens brace for phase-3 cuts
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.
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.