Thu, Jul 19, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Keelung could face water shortage: TWC

Staff writer, with CNA

Keelung is the only area in the country where there are concerns over a possible water shortage in September and October, Taiwan Water Corporation (TWC) deputy general manager Hu Nan-jer (胡南澤) said.

The low level of rainfall in Keelung recently and a gradual drop in the level of the Keelung River (基隆河) made the possibility of a water shortage more likely over the coming months, he said.

To combat this problem, TWC has taken preventative measures for nearby Sijhih (汐止) in New Taipei City (新北市), which is located in the Keelung River valley. The company purchases 80,000 tonnes of water every day from the Taipei Feitsui Reservoir Administration as a precaution, he said.

Keelung and Sijhih receive their water from the Hsinshan Reservoir, which is at 92 percent of capacity and contains more than 8.28 million tonnes of water. This supply can support household use in Keelung City for at least half a month.

However, the TWC wants to keep this supply in reserve for emergencies, rather than use it immediately, Hu said, adding that it was hoped tropical storm Khanun would help increase the supply of water in Keelung.

After heavy rainfall last month, no water shortage is currently expected in other areas in -September and October, Hu said.

Meanwhile, the TWC will over the next few years launch a series of projects to improve reservoirs and stabilize the water supply in southern Taiwan, he added.

These projects, with a combined budget of NT$8.47 billion (US$282 million), are designed to improve the capacity of Tsengwen Reservoir, Nanhua Reservoir and Wushantou Reservoir in Greater Tainan and the piping used to distribute the water.

When the projects are completed in 2016, the daily amount of water transported from Greater Tainan would increase to 130,000 tonnes, while the daily backup water supply in Greater Kaohsiung would increase to 400,000 tonnes, Hu said.

The projects would also seek to tap new sources of water for Kao-hsiung and Pingtung, Hu said, adding that they are expected to provide an additional 100,000 tonnes daily for the two southern areas.

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