Government calls an end to all water rationing

By John Liu, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — With the island’s major water reservoirs using at least 50 percent of full capacity, the government decided to lift the mandatory water restriction entirely, effective yesterday, said the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA, �g�ٳ�). With the announcement, phase-one water rationing was called off immediately, and nighttime water pumping was restored to normal levels in New Taipei City (Linkou, Xinzhuang and Banqiao Districts), Taoyuan, Miaoli, Taichung, northern Changhua, Chiayi and Tainan. The MOEA convened a drought-combat meeting yesterday, and stated that monsoon rainfall in May has infused a great deal of water to the nation’s reservoirs, to such an extent that the water hold is sufficient for three months of public use, in addition to covering second-period farming irrigation. In addition, the government expects more rainfall and consequently higher river flows in coming months, the MOEA said. The mandatory water restriction was therefore revoked, and the emergency drought response working group was also dissolved. Rationing Program

A Success: MOEA It was the worst drought in the history of Taiwan. The last winter (from October 2014 to February 2015) saw the least precipitation since the Central Weather Bureau began recording in 1947, the Water Resources Agency (WRA, ���Q�p) said. A response team was formed last September, consisting of members from local governments, Taiwan Water Corporation, the Council of Agriculture, and the Department of Irrigation and Engineering. The government’s nine-month drought-battling mission was the longest in history, the WRA noted. Water rationing was implemented in stages in order to reduce the impact felt. Irrigation was halted for up to 43.659 hectares of land, while second-stage rationing reduced supply to heavy industrial users by 19.39 percent. These measures have successfully alleviated the impact of the third-stage rationing imposed on the general public, the WRA said. Phase-three rationing carried out in Northern Taiwan lasted 28 days, which was much less than the 49-day rationing imposed in 2002. More Precipitation

Down the Road WRA Chief Secretary Lai Chien-hsin (���ثH) pointed out that although the Shimen Reservoir’s (�۪����w) water level has climbed back, its water hold is still 5,000 metric tons below the average recorded in the past. It is not too much of a concern, however, according to Lai, who said that the year’s peak precipitation season has arrived, and also, other reservoirs in the nation have similar water hold as they did in the past. The Shimen Reservoir is now at 56.12 percent of its full capacity, while Zengwen Reservoir (�������w) and Wusanto Reservoir (�Q�s�Y���w) are at 56.25 percent and 75.07 percent capacity, respectively.