First-stage water rationing measures already in place in parts of the country with depleted reservoirs will likely be maintained until the end of this month, despite heavy rains in the past three days, an official said yesterday.
Water Resources Agency (WRA) deputy head Tien Chiao-ling (田巧玲) said that even with the recent rains, it was too early to lift the first-stage measures.
Officials will hold their next meeting on the nation’s water situation on Wednesday and are likely to keep the measures in place until at least late in the month, Tien said.
Taiwan’s driest spring in 58 years has left some parts of the nation scrambling to conserve water as shortages loom.
Taoyuan County and Linkou District (林口) in New Taipei City (新北市) in northern Taiwan, and Greater Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan have implemented first-stage water rationing measures, which reduce water pressure to consumers between 11pm and 5am, since March 22.
Parts of northern, central and southern Taiwan reported accumulated rainfall of more than 80mm between early Wednesday and Thursday afternoon, but it did little to replenish reservoirs with relatively low water levels.
As of 2pm yesterday, Shihmen Reservoir (石門水庫), which supplies water to Taoyuan and Linkou, was filled to 43.35 percent of its capacity, up from 42.48 percent late on Tuesday night.
However, the Agongdian Reservoir (阿公店水庫), which supplies water to Kaohsiung, saw its water reserves fall during the same period to 41.48 percent from 42.46 percent of capacity, according to agency figures.
Most of the heaviest rainfall was concentrated in central Taiwan, and while it brought welcome relief to some reservoirs there, it also caused damage in mountainous Nantou County.
Rockslides on several sections of a road in Renai Township (仁愛) blocked traffic as of Thursday morning and sporadic landslides were seen on Provincial Highway 21, but the rocks and debris were later removed.
Weather observation equipment on Yushan (玉山) was destroyed by lightning late on Wednesday and has not yet been repaired, according to the Yushan Weather Station.
Lin Yuan-pong (林元鵬), deputy head of the WRA’s South Region Water Resources Office, said that although the recent rains brought some relief to Taiwan’s dwindling water supplies, the general public is still urged to conserve water.