Fri, Sep 02, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Talim cuts into Taoyuan's water

MUDDY WATERS North and south Taoyuan will take turns accessing water for the next six to eight days until the water clears up in Shihmen Reservoir, officials said

BY JIMMY CHUANG  /  STAFF REPORTER

The front gate of the Nankuntaitien Temple in Matou Township, Tainan County, lies in a temporary sea of floodwater yesterday during Typhoon Talim.

PHOTO: CHEN YI-MING, TAIPEI TIMES

The water supply in Taoyuan County was reduced once again at midnight last night because of Typhoon Talim.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs' Water Resources Agency said that the northern and southern regions of Taoyuan have begun taking turns to access water supplies on alternate days.

The temporary procedure is likely to last for the next six to eight days until muddy waters stirred up by Typhoon Talim in Shihmen Reservoir clear.

"At present, we still cannot say how bad the situation will be [in the reservoir], because it usually takes a day or so to tell after heavy rainfall," Water Resources Agency Director-General Chen Shen-hsien (陳伸賢) said. "Therefore I cannot tell you exactly how long this interruption to the water supply will last. But according to our evaluations, eight days is the worst-case scenario."

Chen made his remarks during a press conference yesterday.

Rotation

He said that the decision to rotate the water supply was made after he and newly appointed Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Hou Ho-hsiung (侯和雄) made an inspection to determine the extent of muddiness in the water in the reservoir.

Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) yesterday said he had asked the government officials involved in the matter to do their best to maintain regular water supplies to Taoyuan and surrounding areas.

"Although the downpour from the typhoon has resulted in more muddy water in Shihmen Reservoir, we shall do our best to solve the problem," he said.

Hsieh spent most of his day at the Cabinet's Drought Disaster Relief Center to stay abreast of the latest developments relating to the typhoon.

Chen said that the normal daily water supply to northern Taoyuan amounts to 420,000 tonnes a day, but the volume of water available after the typhoon had dropped to 410,000 tonnes per day.

But southern Taoyuan was suffering a much more dramatic cut to its water ration, Chen said.

"Normally, we need 630,000 tonnes of water a day to maintain regular water supplies for the residents of southern Taoyuan. But currently the total amount of water available for them is only 362,000 tonnes a day," he said.

In related news, lawmakers yesterday postponed registrations for the new legislative session until today and Monday because of the typhoon.

The next legislative session, is scheduled to begin on Sept. 13, and will begin with questions for the premier, followed by budgetary and legislative review.

Aggressive

With the year-end city mayor and county commissioner elections approaching, lawmakers are expected to engage in aggressive debate on contentious bills such as the arms-procurement package and the organic bill for the proposed national communications commission (NCC).

In a bid to familiarize party members with bills the government wants to pass, Democratic Progressive Party caucus whip William Lai (賴清德) yesterday said that his caucus was scheduled to call a caucus meeting on Sept. 12, one day before the new legislative session begins.

The premier and other government officials will be invited to brief DPP lawmakers on government policies, especially the 18 priority bills that the caucus and Executive Yuan have agreed upon.

Additional reporting by Ko Shu-ling

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