Fine weather heralds start of phase-three water rationing

By John Liu, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — As the island saw sunny skies and little rainfall over the last few days, the water level in the Shimen Reservoir (�۪����w) declined again, prompting the government to start the scheduled phase-three water rationing on Wednesday. The nation was blessed with fine weather during the four-day Tomb Sweeping holidays (�M���`). Temperatures are rising, and they reached 34.5 degrees Celsius yesterday, the highest of the spring so far. It may not be completely good news: The water level at the Shimen Reservoir was pegged at 220 meters as of 8 a.m. yesterday, still 25 meters away from full capacity. It currently holds 49.92 million cubic meters of water, putting the reservoir at 24.81 percent of capacity. The water deposit is relatively low, about 90 million cubic meters less compared with years earlier, said Water Resources Agency (WRA) Secretary-General Lai Chien-hsin (���ثH). Unless there are new showers, phase-three rationing will kick-start as planned, he said. The reservoir used only 20 percent of capacity on March 23. It rose to 25 percent after a monsoon brought in some rainfall. The capacity has gone back down lately, however. Phase-three water rationing requires five days of regular supply every week followed by two days of water cuts. It will affect up to 1.16 million households in parts of New Taipei City (Banqiao, Xinzhuang and Linkou), Taoyuan City and part of Hsinchu County. Weather Front Brings Showers to Reservoirs According to the Central Weather Bureau (CWB), a weather front moved south after noon yesterday. Chances of rainfall have therefore increased in Central and Northern Taiwan.

The front brought in showers for the island’s southern tip in Pingtung. Mudan Reservoir (�d�����w) saw 90 millimeters of rainfall, which added 200,000 cubic meters of water. The reservoir is now at 37 percent capacity.