Wed, May 09, 2012 - Page 2 News List

Water a crucial factor in science park review: NSC

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

An ongoing review of industrial development plans for a science park in central Taiwan is leaning toward industries that have lower water consumption, National Science Council (NSC) Deputy Director-General Hocheng Hong (賀陳弘) said.

Water consumption has been a source of dispute at the Central Taiwan Science Park in Changhua County’s Erlin Township (二林) following the Dadu Weir project, which was originally planned to supply water for the canceled Kuokuang Petrochemical project and the science park.

Farmers in Sijhou (溪洲) and other townships have protested that an aqueduct project that would deliver water to the park would take away already insufficient water used for irrigation.

Hocheng said a task force in charge of revising development plans for the park would focus on three issues: adjusting the industrial structure of the park, reducing water demand and reducing wastewater discharge.

The original water consumption plan for the park was about 16 tonnes per day, but the task force says it might limit total water consumption to between 10 percent and 20 percent of the original plan, Hocheng said, adding that the long-term goal is not to use any irrigation water.

Since some infrastructure has already been constructed in the park, any changes to plans on which types of industries would be welcome in the park would have to take these things into consideration, Hocheng said.

Evaluations of possible directions and negotiations with different groups and industries are still ongoing, he said, adding that industries such as precision machinery and biotechnology were being considered.

“The science park now faces two major challenges: the long-term water supply source has been canceled and major industries are having difficulty setting up their plants in the park,” he said.

“The situation is difficult, because it’s like getting to a crossroads and trying to figure out which way is better. However, the council cannot make the decision alone because it would affect the authority of other agencies,” he said.

Hocheng said the final decision on the industrial changes at the science park and finding a solution to the water consumption issue would be included in the council’s final report to the Executive Yuan early next month.

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