Sun, Jun 08, 2008 - Page 3 News List

MOEA to assess feasibility of water imports from China

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) will assess the technical aspects and effectiveness of importing water from China to the outlying island of Kinmen, an MOEA official said yesterday.

The official said the Water Resources Agency (WRA) under the MOEA will “spend the next one or two months conducting an assessment.”

The assessment will include whether to lay undersea pipes or build a bridge to transport the water. Cost effectiveness will also be studied.

BEST USE

The agency will also have to learn how to improve purification treatments for imported water, adjust the existing purification equipment and make the best use of the water supplied by Kinmen’s lakes and reservoirs, the official said.

The official said that since Kinmen established direct transport links with China in 2001, it has learned that importing water from China would be cheaper than transporting water from Taiwan, as China’s Fujian Province is closer.

“But this is not purely a water problem and the government also has to consider political and security factors,” the official said.

The WRA is planning to submit the assessment report to the Executive Yuan for a policy review next month, the official said.

WRA officials said Kinmen has long been plagued by water shortages and has to rely on sea water desalination as a partial solution to the problem.

PAST EFFORTS

A technology assessment conducted by the WRA on importing water from China in 2001 failed to make headway because the political atmosphere at that time was not conducive to such an idea.

The Kinmen County Government has asked the central government several times to give the green light to importing water from China to assuage the water shortage.

WRA Director-General Chen Shen-hsien (陳伸賢) recently traveled to Kinmen to communicate with Kinmen County Commissioner Lee Chu-feng (李柱烽) on the problem, during which Chen vowed to form a task force to study the issue.

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