The Cabinet yesterday established a national drought disaster relief center responsible for formulating plans to assist local governments.
To fight the worst drought in 20 years, several local governments imposed drought-emergency measures last month.
Premier Yu Shyi-kun yesterday designated Kuo Yao-chi (
PHOTO: GEORGE TSORNG, TAIPEI TIMES
"To avoid disputes between different polities over the distribution of limited water resources, the task force is to coordinate all of the nation's drought emergency measures," Kuo said.
Premier Yu said that during the crisis period, governing agencies will be authorized to utilize all possible water resources, including underground water and water designated for agricultural use. In addition, Yu stressed, the government has the right to levy residents' ponds for national use.
Based on the most recent weather forecasts that predict little rainfall in the beginning of this month, Yu yesterday commanded the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) to come up with measures which have "as little impact as possible upon economic activities and people's lives."
Taking advantage of water levels that are alarmingly low, Yu urged the Water Resources Agency (WRA) under the MOEA to seize the opportunity to remove years of accumulated silt from the nation's reservoirs.
The water level at the Feitsui Reservoir (
Taipei City Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (
Ma said that Taipei City on average consumes three million tonnes of water per day and that it was time for change.
"If we keep consuming water at present rates, we will run out. Then, crying for more water will do no good," Ma said.
The second stage of rationing was imposed in Taipei City and part of Taipei County yesterday. Western counties affected by the first stage of water-rationing, including Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Miaoli and Chiayi, might face stricter measures soon, WRA officials said.
"Sooner or later, water-rationing, one zone at a time, will be imposed in northern Taiwan," Chen Shen-hsien (
TWSC officials said yesterday that a meeting held by the MOEA today would discuss the possibility of suspending water services in the counties of northern Taiwan from 11pm to 5am.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
‘RELIABLE PARTNER’: US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar praised the ‘Taiwan model,’ saying that the nation brought its spirit to its COVID-19 response The first memorandum of understanding (MOU) on health cooperation between the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the US Department of Health and Human Services was yesterday signed at the Centers for Disease Control in Taipei. The memorandum was signed between the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US, by AIT Director Brent Christensen and Taiwan Council for US Affairs Chairperson Jen-ni Yang (楊珍妮). US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) witnessed the signing of the memorandum, designed to enhance the nations’
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday tweeted a welcome to Somaliland’s first representative to Taiwan, Mohamed Omar Hagi Mohamoud, who arrived on Friday. Mohamoud had “braved Chinese pressure” to take up his new post, Wu wrote. “The fact ‘sovereignty & friendship aren’t for sale’ deserves international recognition,” referring to a Somaliland media report earlier this month that Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi had rejected an offer by the Chinese government in exchange for ending its rapprochement with Taiwan. Wu also thanked the US National Security Council (NSC) for praising Taiwan-Somaliland ties. A council tweet on July 10 praised Taiwan
The US on Thursday removed a warning against all international travel, and placed Taiwan on a list of 13 destinations where the risk of COVID-19 transmission is “very low.” The list was compiled almost five months after the US Department of State issued a “global level 4 health advisory,” urging US citizens to avoid all international travel. On Thursday, the department announced that it was lifting the advisory, saying that “with health and safety conditions improving in some countries and potentially deteriorating in others, the Department is returning to our previous system of country-specific levels of travel advice.” The US