Tue, Nov 16, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Experts promote enhanced water crisis management

CNA , TAIPEI

Taiwan must improve its crisis management of water resources in the face of frequent natural disasters and accidents, participants at a seminar said yesterday.

Speaking at a seminar attended by business, engineering and technology experts and specialists from Taiwan and the US, Yang Wei-pu (楊偉甫), chief engineer with the Water Resources Agency, said a spate of typhoons and accidents over the past year has shown the need for crisis management involving dams, reservoirs and catchment areas.

Yang mentioned some of the problems: pipelines connecting the Nanhua Reservoir ruptured; a reservoir in Kinmen was contaminated with rat poison in June; a floodgate failed at the Liyutan Reservoir during a typhoon in early July; and the turbidity of the water in the Shihmen Reservoir reached record high levels after Typhoon Aere pounded northern Taiwan with rain in August.

Also speaking at the seminar -- formally known as the 2004 Biannual ROC-USA Business Conference and the Modern Engineering and Technology Seminar -- Chang Chein-chi (張建祺) from the US said that Taiwan and the US maintain different approaches to crisis management of water resources.

While Washington strives to protect dams around the US from terrorist attacks, Taiwanese authorities should pay closer attention to reservoir safety, focusing on damage caused by natural disasters, Chang said.

Chao Junn-ling (趙震陵), also from the US, has 40 years of experience in tap water engineering and sewage systems.

He said that every junction, ranging from catchment areas to water tanks, of a running water system is crucial in terms of water safety and security, since errors or accidents could happen anywhere along the line.

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