The National Science Council (NSC) has devised a new proposal for the expansion of the Central Taiwan Science Park due to recent changes in the TFT-LCD panel industry and the very limited water resources available after the proposed Dadu Weir project was abandoned, council Secretary-General Cyrus Chu (朱敬一) said yesterday.
The new water usage plan for the fourth-phase expansion project at the science park in Erlin Township (二林), Changhua County, has been revised by mapping out three sourcing options, Chu said, adding that the revised proposal will be sent to the Executive Yuan as early as next week for review.
The revised plan would attract investment based on low water usage and low wastewater discharge, with the goal of reducing the photonics industry’s presence in the park from 60 percent to 20 percent, increasing the semiconductor industry’s presence from 10 to 20 percent, the precision machinery industry’s from 10 to 35 percent and biotechnology’s from 10 to 15 percent with the green energy industry’s presence remaining at 10 percent, Chu said.
“Based on respect for the environment, the long-term total water usage plan of the central science park will be reduced from the originally planned 165,000 tonnes [per day] to 20,000 tonnes [per day],” Chu said.
“We’ve cut the water usage to one-eighth and the estimated self-liquidation ratio may even be slightly higher then the original plan,” he said.
However, the mid-term water supply of the Erlin campus between 2015 and 2019 is still a problem because of the limited 4,800 tonnes per day of tap water channeled by the Water Agency, leaving a shortfall of 15,200 tonnes per day, which will only become available after 2020.
The three water sourcing options include: constructing an aqueduct and diverting water from the middle so it flows upriver of Cizaipijun (莿仔埤圳) — the main irrigation system in the county — and then adding a new reservoir at the park; or, continue with the original plan of diverting water from upriver, but reduce the scale of the sedimentation basin; or finally, not diverting water from Cizaipijun, but sourcing it from sewage treatment and other resources.
Until the Executive Yuan approves the revised plan, the construction of an aqueduct to divert water to the park’s campus will continue, Chu said, but it would only be constructed from the 12km mark of Cizaipijun to the campus at the 24km mark, leaving out the upstream section, one of the contentious points.
In past months, farmers from Changhua County have made numerous trips to Taipei to stage protests, urging the government to fulfill a pledge to stop the construction of the aqueduct to divert water to the science park.