Tue, Apr 07, 2015 - Page 13 News List

Water rationing looms in parts of northern Taiwan

PRECIPITATION:The measures, scheduled to take effect tomorrow, are to affect 1.16 million households in the north, as chances of rainfall remain low, an official said

Staff writer, with CNA

Tighter water-rationing measures for Taoyuan and parts of New Taipei City and Hsinchu County are to take effect tomorrow because of the low probability of precipitation this month, a Water Resources Agency official said yesterday.

The stricter measures include suspending household water supplies two days a week on a rotating basis as the nation continues to feel the effects of its worst water shortage in decades, even after seeing some rainfall in the north at the end of last month.

The measures, aimed at 1.16 million households in northern Taiwan, are to be implemented in Taoyuan, Hukou (湖口) and Sinfong (新豐) townships in Hsinchu County, and Linkou (林口), Banciao (板橋) and Sinjhuang (新莊) districts in New Taipei City beginning tomorrow.

Agency chief secretary Lai Chien-hsin (賴建信) said that the chances of precipitation this month are low, and the nation must hope for next month’s anticipated plum rains to ease the water shortage.

A cold front from the north expected last night could bring thundershowers or showers to parts of northern Taiwan through Sunday, the Central Weather Bureau forecast yesterday.

However, even if there were rain, there is no guarantee that it would fall in the catchment areas of northern Taiwan’s reservoirs, particularly Shihmen Reservoir.

As of 5:30pm yesterday, the water level at Shihmen Reservoir in Taoyuan was 219.99m, or 24.79 percent of capacity. That is higher than when it dipped to nearly 20 percent on March 22, but still low enough to warrant heavy rationing, the agency said.

The tightened rationing measures were originally scheduled to start on Wednesday last week, but were postponed by a week by Premier Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) late last month to avoid disruptions during the Tomb Sweeping Day holiday this past weekend.

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