Taiwan addresses water shortages following unusually dry year

Experts suggest water management, environmental protection should be priority

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2021/01/03
By:  Central News Agency

Tsengwen Reservoir on Jan 2., 2021. (CNA photo)

Experts suggest that water-saving and management, as well as environmental protection, should be the priority as Taiwan is in the process of adopting several measures to cope with water shortages following a particularly dry year in 2020.

Last year marked the first time since 1964 that a typhoon did not hit Taiwan during flood season which is from May to November, said Wang Yi-feng (王藝峰), deputy director-general of the Water Resources Agency (WRA). As a result, there were only 661 millimeters of rainfall from June to November, an all-time-low, compared with average annual rainfall in the period of 1,635 mm, WRA data showed.

During the fall, Feitsui Reservoir in New Taipei and Shihmen Reservoir in Taoyuan saw their water storage level fall to 48 percent and 43 percent, respectively, according to the agency. In response, the government introduced a raft of measures, including ceasing water supplies for agricultural irrigation in some regions south of Taoyuan.

An additional NT$1.4 billion (US$49.8 million) has been budgeted by the Executive Yuan to improve the storage, distribution, and manage water resources, which is expected to increase supplies by 780,000 metric tonnes. The measures, likely to be in place by February this year to meet the dry season, also include new practices like the more extensive use of recycled effluent and desalination of seawater, Wang said.   [FULL  STORY]

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