Mon, May 16, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Further rationing may be delayed by rain

Staff Writer, with CNA

The Ministry of Economic Affairs is scheduled to hold a meeting today to deliberate on whether to put a “phase two” water rationing plan in areas of western Taiwan on hold, in light of recent heavy precipitation.

Wu Yueh-his (吳約西), deputy director-general of the Water Resources Agency, said yesterday that three consecutive days of rain had added about 87 million cubic tonnes of water to reservoirs.

Despite the rain, water shortages still loom, the agency said, adding that it would carry out cloud-seeding efforts in cooperation with the Ministry of National Defense in major catchment areas from today through Wednesday.

Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said the drought had eased slightly, “but we still need to boost our efforts to ease it.”

Meanwhile, the Central Weather Bureau said the latest frontal system was expected to progress to the south, bringing with it a higher chance of precipitation.

The bureau issued a report a day earlier saying that this year is expected to have fewer typhoons as a result of the La Nina effect.

“If we use up the water now and typhoons do not come until September, or if only one typhoon comes, what shall we do?” Wu asked.

The ministry decided on May 9 that in the absence of significant precipitation in the coming days, the government might begin phase two water rationing measures on Wednesday in Taoyuan County, Hsinchu City and Hsinchu County, as well as in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Linkuo District (林口).

If the water shortage continues, the ministry said the phase two water-rationing measures will also be introduced from next Monday in Miaoli and Changhua counties, as well as in Greater Taichung, Greater Tainan and Greater Kaohsiung.

The restrictions will see water supplies for fountains and other non-urgent uses such as cleaning streets and ditches and building exteriors stopped.

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