The Water Resources Agency began cloud-seeding in southern Taiwan yesterday as part of escalating efforts to address with an increasing water shortage in that part of the country.
Rainfall in the south has been below normal so far this year and Zengwen and Wusanto reservoirs in the Tainan area are at 25 percent capacity with a total of 130 million tonnes of water, the agency said.
At Nanhua reservoir, the water level is at 30 percent capacity, with 30 million tonnes of water, the agency said.
Starting at 11am yesterday, the agency lit six cloud-seeding flares in an attempt to induce rainfall over southern Taiwan.
By 6pm, 13.4mm of rain had fallen in the catchment area, which was of little help to ease the water shortage.
The agency called for public assistance in efforts to conserve water in order to avoid — or at least delay — the need for second-stage water-rationing in the region.
At present, water pressure is being reduced at night in southern Taiwan in the agency’s first-stage water-rationing measures.
Meanwhile, the South Region Water Resources Office, which held a meeting yesterday regarding the current state of water reserves, is closely monitoring the water levels and is scheduled to meet again on Tuesday next week to discuss possible drought contingency measures, the agency said.
These may include further conservation through the second stage of water rationing, the agency said.
However, Water Resources Agency Deputy Director-general Tien Chiao-ling (田巧玲) said that the water supply is expected to remain stable in southern Taiwan by the end of next month.
The Central Weather Bureau has forecast at some rain for the drought-hit region of southern Taiwan during next week’s Tomb Sweeping holiday, the agency added.