The Water Resources Agency (WRA) yesterday said that it is working with the Ministry of the Interior to build wastewater recycling plants in an effort to stabilize the nation’s water supply.
The agency said it has been working with the ministry to build eight sewage recycling plants across the nation with the aim of producing 1.2 million tonnes of recycled water a day by 2031.
The plants would process both household and industrial wastewater, it said, adding that it has chosen Greater Taichung and Greater Kaohsiung as the test sites for the plants.
So far, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co and the China Steel Corp — the nation’s largest steelmaker — have joined the water recycling project in Greater Kaohsiung’s Nantze Export Processing Zone.
Minister of the Interior Lee Hong-yuan (李鴻源) said that the recycled water would be sold for industrial use, irrigation and toilet flushing.
Taiwan produces about 2.85 million tonnes of wastewater each day, government statistics show, so water processing plants could be very helpful in resolving the country’s water crisis, Lee said.
He also said that the plants would help counter the build-up of silt in reservoirs, which is significantly reducing their storage capacity.
The storage capacity of the nation’s 50 reservoirs has been reduced by 60 percent of their original capacity and this could fall to 50 percent by 2030, he said.
Wastewater recycling has become a key issue as a major shortfall in precipitation that began late last year has continued, causing alarm throughout the country.
First-stage water restriction measures have been introduced in Taoyuan, Hsinchu and Miaoli counties, New Taipei City’s (新北市) Linkou District (林口) and Greater Kaohsiung, where pipeline pressure is now being reduced at night in order to conserve water.