Water restrictions will remain in force, Ma says

The China Post staff

Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou said yesterday that the current suspension on water supply to swimming pools and other heavy users will remain in force. He also warned that tighter water rationing could be implemented as the water level at Feitsui Reservoir continues to fall. Answering questions raised by city council members, Ma said Taipei needs at least 100mm of cumulative rainfall before mid-June and an additional rainfall of 120mm to 180mm to adequately supply the city until July. Feitsui Reservoir’s water level was at 121.24 meters at 8:00 p.m. last night, only about 10 meters above the “dead water level,” below which water must be pumped out.

Under such conditions, Ma said it is impossible for the Taipei City Government (TCG) to remove water restrictions imposed on heavy users like car washes, spas, swimming pools, and saunas, although the TCG fully understands the impact on the jobs and livelihood of people working at such facilities. The TCG will also continue the current water rationing restrictions in all metropolitan districts, a spokesman said.

It is possible that the TCG may tighten the ongoing reduction in water supply to various zones to every third day from the current practice of one day out every five by mid-June if no rain falls during the next couple of weeks. In spite of heavy rains in some parts in southern Taiwan during the past few days, executives of Taiwan Provincial Water Co. said that unless all dams in Taiwan County are full before August, there will be a water shortage in the second half of this year and the dry season next year.