Mayor Ma sees no need for water rationing yet

RESOURCES: Despite falling water levels at the Feitsui Reservoir, Ma said there's no need to restrict use because residents are consuming less water than in past years

By Chang Yun-Ping  /  STAFF REPORTER

Fri, Dec 20, 2002 - Page 2

Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday that there is no need to impose water rationing, despite a drop in water levels at the Feitsui Reservoir.

Ma said that residents' water consumption has dropped since the drought this spring forced rationing from May to July.

As the city is using 400,000 tonnes of water per day less than before the drought, the city government has no plans to restrict water use, Ma said.

The water level of the Feitsui Reservoir had dropped to 149.57m as of press time yesterday.

The 135m mark is considered dangerously low for this time of year.

"I feel very gratified that our residents continue to save water every day. And at this moment, the city government sees no need to impose water rationing, but we urge residents to keep saving water," Ma said.

The mayor made the remarks at a routine media briefing at Taipei City Hall.

Faced with the most serious drought in northern Taiwan in more than two decades, the greater Taipei area experienced unprecedented water rationing between May and July this year.

"During the water-rationing period, the city saved 900,000 tonnes of water per day. Since the drought, average water use has declined," Ma said.

Taipei City received a heavy downpour early yesterday morning, but the precipitation did little to change water levels at the Feitsui Reservoir.

Feitsui Reservoir director Kuo Ray-hwa (郭瑞華) said yesterday that he was worried about the falling water level.

"The volume of rainfall this year has been much less than normal. Furthermore, we are in the low-water season. If the amount of rainfall is still unsatisfactory, the water supply may be restricted early next year," Kuo said.

At the same time last year, the reservoir's water level was 12m higher, at 161m. Kuo said this leaves the reservoir short 90 million tonnes of water compared with last year.