Kaohsiung preparing for phase-3 rationing

By Enru Lin ,The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Third-phase water restrictions will begin on May 4 in Greater Kaohsiung and affect an estimated 2.56 million people, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA, �g�ٳ�) said yesterday. The MOEA’s taskforce for drought emergency response has decided to implement third-stage rationing in Greater Kaohsiung for the first time in the history of the port city. Starting May 4, the tap water supply will be cut off two days a week in areas of Greater Kaohsiung on a rotational basis. Rationing is expected to reach all household users and 2,439 factories, affecting an estimated 2.56 million people and saving 170,500 cubic meters of water per day. Yang Wei-fuu (�����j), vice economics minister, said the taskforce will strive to limit inconvenience and ensure that rationing avoids weekends. Implementation will be ��flexible�� and can be suspended temporarily in the event of adequate rainfall, Yang said.

Some Factories to Stay in Phase 2 According to the MOEA, third-phase rationing in Kaohsiung will affect factories that draw from the depleting Gaoping River Dam (���̷��d�e��). The taskforce ruled that industrial consumers that use the Fengshan Water Reservoir (���s���w), where the water is not at critical level, will stay in phase two. All of Greater Kaohsiung and Tainan is currently under phase-two rationing; a water reduction at night and a 10-percent reduction to consumers who use over 1,000 cubic meters a month. After May 4, the lesser restriction will continue for factories in the Linhai (�{��), Linyuan (�L��) and Dafa (�j�o) industrial parks. Factories that will enter phase-three rationing are those drawing from the Gaoping River Dam, which supplies most residential users and is declining rapidly. These include factories in Yungan (�æw), Dashe (�j��), Renwu (���Z) and Nanzih (����), according to the Water Resources Agency.

Tainan on Agenda The MOEA placed parts of Northern Taiwan under phase-three water rationing on April 8, amid the worst drought in decades. Yang said that conditions are unlikely to ease soon, with the Central Weather Bureau (���H��) forecasting scanty rainfall across Southern Taiwan in May. If the drought persists, Greater Tainan may be next on the water rationing schedule, Yang said. On May 4, the MOEA’s drought response taskforce will convene and deliberate on whether to expand phase-three rationing. The water level at Greater Tainan’s Nanhua Reservoir (�n�Ƥ��w), located along the Tainan-Kaohsiung border, is on a gradual decline, Yang said.