Tue, Apr 01, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Tomb-sweeping Day to stay unaffected by water shortages, WRA director says

By Chiu Yu-Tzu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Heavy water consumption on Tomb-sweeping Day this Saturday will be guaranteed after forecasters predicted that rainfall in early April could postpone the launch of stricter water-restriction measures, Water Resources Agency (WRA) director Hwang Jing-san (黃金山) said yesterday.

Tomb-sweeping Day, one of the most important festivals in areas influenced by Chinese culture, is the day for cleaning up ancestral graveyards on remote hillsides.

According to the Central Weather Bureau, a cold front will pass Taiwan tomorrow, with rain likely to fall in central and northern Taiwan.

"We don't think stricter water restriction measures need to be imposed on Tomb-sweeping Day," Huang said.

Huang reiterated that the launch of a second stage of water conservation measures depends on water levels at major reservoirs.

According to Huang, once water levels reach 137m at the Feitsui Reservoir and 214m at Shihmen Dam, the second stage will be imposed.

Yesterday, the water level at Feitsui was 141.32m, or 37 percent of its capacity.

Meanwhile, Shihmen's level was 217.1m, or 26 percent.

Once the second stage of the measures is imposed, water supplies to non-industrial and industrial heavy users will be reduced by 20 percent and 5 percent respectively. In addition, water supply to artificial fountains and fire hydrants will be suspended.

Since Huang plans to retire in July, PFP legislative leader Chiu Yi (邱毅) asked if his decision to step aside could be attributed to friction with the government.

Huang, 66, denied that he fails to get along with the ruling DPP, saying that it was time for him to hand over leadership to the next generation.

Chiu said fierce competition for Huang's position has been going on under the table. According to Chiu, WRA spokesman Chen Shen-hsien (陳伸賢) and Kaohsiung deputy mayor Hou Ho-hsiung (侯和雄), recommended by Kaohsiung Mayor Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), are major rivals.

Huang said that any young, professional candidate like Chen would be qualified to take the leadership of WRA.

Huang said was unaware of Hou's interest in the position.

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