Thu, Feb 21, 2013 - Page 5 News List

Northern areas face water rationing as rainfall figures drop

Staff writer, with CNA

Water reserve levels in Taoyuan and certain areas of New Taipei City (新北市) have dropped slightly below normal because of lower-than-expected rainfall since the beginning of the year, the Water Resources Agency said.

The agency changed its drought warning for Taoyuan County and New Taipei City’s Linkou (林口), Banciao (板橋) and Sindian (新店) areas from a “blue” indicator, signaling normal water storage levels, to “green,” which means water supply is somewhat reduced.

Shihmen Reservoir, which supplies water to Taoyuan, Hsinchu and New Taipei City, was at full capacity in late November and December last year because of heavy rainfall during those two months, the agency said.

However, the rainfall last month dropped to 50 percent of the monthly average, and was only 10 percent of the average volume this month, it said.

As of Monday, the water level at Shihmen Reservoir had dropped to the 239.97m mark, or 79.9 percent of its storage capacity, it added.

The agency said that priority would be given to crop irrigation, as farmers throughout the nation are preparing to begin planting their first rice crop of the season.

Water for public and industrial use will be rationed to maintain a stable supply at the dam, the agency said.

Taipei Feitsui Reservoir Administration, which regulates the water supply to Taipei and Taoyuan County, said it would help out with the shortage in New Taipei City’s Banciao and Sindian districts.

There is an adequate supply for the greater Taipei area until May, it added.

Officials from the Central Weather Bureau, Taiwan Water Corp, Taipei Water Department and Department of Irrigation and Engineering are scheduled to meet on Monday to discuss water-related issues.

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