Water rationing ends in six areas

Staff Writer, with CNA

Fri, May 27, 2011 - Page 2

The Ministry of Economic Affairs yesterday announced that it had lifted the first stage of water rationing in six cities and counties as a result of heavy rain over the past two weeks.

The six areas were listed as Hsinchu City, Hsinchu County, Miaoli County, Greater Taichung, Greater Tainan and Greater Kaohsiung, with Taoyuan County and Linkou District (林口) in New Taipei City (新北市) still under the phase one restrictions, Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Hwang Jung-chiou (黃重球) told a media briefing.

Under the phase-one restrictions imposed on cities and counties nationwide on a staggered basis in March, last month and earlier this month, water pressure was reduced between 11pm and 5am, while supplies for irrigation were also limited.

After reviewing the water supply situation around the country, Hwang said supplies for public and industrial users would begin to see shortages until the end of July at the earliest, although he added that some major reservoirs would still have water levels that were lower than ideal.

At Shihmen Reservoir in Taoyuan County, one of the biggest sources of potable water in northern Taiwan, water reserves were recorded at 88 million cubic meters as of Wednesday, only 66 percent of the average effective storage capacity between 2006 and this year, the Water Resources Agency said.

The combined water reserves at Tsengwen Reservoir and Wushantou Reservoir in the south were 105 million cubic meters as of Wednesday, which represents just 59 percent of their average storage capacity over the past five years, the agency said.