The Shihmen Reservoir (石門水庫), which supplies water to Taoyuan and the western part of New Taipei City, saw a record-low water level yesterday amid Taiwan’s worst water shortage in 10 years.
The reservoir currently holds about 45.9 million tonnes of water, only one-quarter of its total capacity, according to the Water Resources Agency.
If there is no increase in rainfall in the coming days, areas served by the reservoir might face a dire situation, as Shihmen supplies an average of 1.59 million tonnes of water each day, the agency said.
If, as predicted by the Central Weather Bureau, there is no significant precipitation in the near future, as many as 1.51 million households in the areas would be affected, the agency said.
A lack of rain would mean that third-phase water rationing would be launched before May to cut the water supply to entire areas on a rotating basis, the agency said.
In Taiwan, first-phase water rationing entails reduced water pressure at night, while the second phase means the water supply is restricted for consumers who usually use more than 1,000m3 per month.
The western part of New Taipei City, as well as Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Miaoli, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung began second-phase water rationing on Feb. 26.
As of Friday, the water level of the reservoir was the second-lowest since it went into operation in 1964, an agency official said.
Sediment removal work upstream of Shihmen Reservoir has been carried out in the hope of retaining more water when it rains.
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