Wed, Dec 07, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Groundwater wells to be capped within two years: agency

Staff Writer, with CNA

Deep groundwater wells located in the west of the nation that have triggered land subsidence will be capped within two years, Water Resources Agency Director-General Yang Wei-fu (楊偉甫) said.

The wells to be capped are located in Changhua and Yunlin counties and belong to Taiwan Water Corp (TWC), Yang said, adding that the TWC would do the same to other deep wells in the south because of land subsidence caused by the overuse of groundwater for industry and agriculture.

He made the remarks in response to lawmakers’ questions at the legislature.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Pan Men-an (潘孟安) has accused the TWC of digging deep wells in areas that have land subsidence, but dodging responsibility when the public unknowingly blamed farmers and industrial firms for the problem.

Pan said the TWC dug two deep wells in Linbian Township (林邊), Pingtung County, where land subsidence was a serious problem.

Yang said all deep wells belonging to the TWC are now being managed and the agency would look into the wells in Linbian.

However, there is still room for improvement in the operation of the TWC and water quality management, Yang said.

Capping groundwater wells is seen as one of the steps to tackle land subsidence that was described by Public Construction Commission Minister Lee Hong-yuan (李鴻源) earlier this year as serious enough to cut the life span of the nation’s high-speed rail system by “no more than 10 years.”

The Control Yuan issued a report in June warning that the high-speed rail could fail at any moment as the problem of sinking land in the western corridor continued to worsen.

The report said the problem was most severe in the Tuku (土庫) section in Yunlin County, because groundwater was being overpumped.

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