Wed, Mar 25, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Former CWB official says water storage capability big worry

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Former Central Weather Bureau (CWB) Weather Forecast Center director Daniel Wu (吳德榮) yesterday said that the nation’s ability to store water has dropped significantly, adding that media coverage of heavy rainfall on Monday was misleading.

Wu made the comments on his weather column on the Chinese Television System Web site, criticizing what he said were ridiculous headlines for stories on the heavy rainfall on Sunday night and Monday.

Wu said close attention has been paid to news of rain because of concerns over the nation’s worst water shortage of the past decade.

“The problem in Taiwan is even though we have relatively high rainfall, we have small reservoirs. The reservoirs cannot store much, so a lot of the water flows into the sea,” he said. “Meanwhile, the reservoirs have growing silt deposits that are reducing their capacity to store water.”

Wu said that the reservoirs could provide water for five or six months 20 years ago, but now they could only meet demand for three months during the dry season.

The nation has seen water shortage crises four times in the past five years and the nation should expect the crises to occur more frequently, he said.

“The nation will only face more challenges if it cannot add water storage facilities,” he said.

Meanwhile, Wu said the media had written sensational, misleading and irrational headlines for stories on the rainfall.

“The media was eager to report rises in water levels, not knowing that changes in the water levels would only occur after water flows into the reservoirs, which would take one or two days,” he said. “Headlines such as ‘Where has all the rain gone?’ and ‘God does not put the rain in the right place’ are misleading and send the wrong message.”

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