Artificial rain planned for next week in Taiwan

File photo courtesy of Southern Region Water Resources Office.

TAIPEI (CNA) — The Water Resources Agency (WRA) said Wednesday it is planning to artificially increase the rainfall when a weather front passes through Taiwan next week, as water levels have been low in many of the country’s reservoirs.

The WRA is preparing to use ground-based cloud-seeding techniques, which involve burning non-toxic agents, in an attempt to increase the rainfall near several reservoirs in Taiwan on May 10 and 11, WRA Deputy Director-General Wang Yi-feng (王藝峰) said.

On Tuesday, the WRA attempted artificial rainmaking at several reservoirs but was unsuccessful because the weather conditions were not optimal, he said.

The particles released during the burning process can only be carried up to the clouds to trigger rain if the air circulation is stable, powerful and continuous, which was not the case on Tuesday, Wang said.

Currently, at the end of the dry season in Taiwan, reservoirs in the central and southern areas of the country are at low levels, as there has been no heavy rainfall in those regions since last October, according to Wang.

As of 6 p.m. Wednesday, Zengwen Reservoir, one of the major reservoirs in the south, was at about 9.81 percent capacity, with the water level at 230 meters, while Nanhua Reservoir in that region was at 16.69 percent capacity, WRA data showed.

The only reservoir in the south at more than 50 percent capacity was Wushantou Reservoir, according to the data.