Taipei water prices are set to rise over the next three years, following a meeting between officials from the city government and the Ministry of Economic Affairs last night.
“We hope to address the issue in stages over the next three years,” Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Yang Wei-fu (楊偉甫) said. “In principle, larger rate discrimination will be drafted to protect users of drinking water, while increasing rates for heavy users.”
At NT$8 per metric tonne, Taipei’s water rate is currently NT$2 cheaper than the rest of the nation and has remained unchanged for 21 years.
Indirect subsidies are the reason for Taipei’s lower rate, Taipei Water Department Commissioner Chen Chin-hsiang (陳錦祥) said.
The city government does not include the cost of administering the Feitsui Reservoir (翡翠水庫) in calculations of water rates, he said.
However, with plans calling for an expansion of the area for which the city government is responsible, reservoir administration costs will be included in its future calculations to avoid subsidizing residents of other municipalities, he added.
Taipei is the only city that has an autonomous water department, with water to other municipalities and counties provided by the central government.
Staggering the implementation of price hikes was necessary to give affected industrial users time to prepare for increased rates by investing in water-recycling equipment, Chen said.
Taipei will continue to replace water pipes over the next several years with a goal of reducing the water-leakage rate to 10 percent, he said, adding that Taipei is not facing a water shortage because leak-resistant pipes account for more than half of the pipe network.
New pipes have caused the city’s water-leakage rate to fall from 28.44 percent in 2002 to 16.7 percent, saving 144 million metric tonnes of water, or 40 percent of the volume of the Feitsui Reservoir, every year, he said.
Tainan City Councilor Lu Kun-fu (盧崑福) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday sparked further controversy when he echoed remarks by KMT caucus whip Alex Fai (費鴻泰) that Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) should be executed for an increase in domestic COVID-19 cases. Chen heads the Central Epidemic Command Center. Lu at a question-and-answer session at the Tainan City Council said that a lapse in disease prevention measures at China Airlines, which has led to a cluster infection, could have been controlled. However, as the airline’s pilots were allowed a shortened quarantine period of three days and were placed
SUFFICIENT SUPPLY: Taiwan has an abundance of pandemic-related goods in storage, and protocols have been implemented to ensure that the supply chain is not broken Hordes of customers descended on hypermarkets and supermarkets in Taipei and New Taipei City after the government yesterday raised the COVID-19 alert level for the two municipalities to level 3 until May 28. Earlier in the day, the Central Epidemic Command Center reported 180 new domestically transmitted cases, most of them in Taipei and New Taipei City. Despite the government urging the public to stop hoarding daily necessities, shelves were stripped bare while cashiers were working as fast as they could. Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) at a news conference on Friday detailed the government’s inventory of masks, medical-grade isopropyl alcohol and protective clothing,
‘STAY CALM’: The nation has more than 800 million masks in stock and can produce up to 40 million a day, while hand sanitizer stocks are also sufficient The nation has an ample supply of masks to meet demand amid concerns over an increase in the number of domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said on Tuesday. Taiwan has more than 800 million masks in stock, with daily production of 18.3 million units on average and maximum daily capacity of 40 million units, the ministry said on Facebook. The ministry’s assurance came after Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), on Monday said that the nation has entered the community transmission stage after several new domestic
EYES AND EARS: The navy has commissioned the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology to manufacture radars to upgrade the nation’s naval monitoring stations A military enthusiast yesterday posted photographs of Taiwanese F-16 jets taking off from Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu with two refueling aircraft, presumably returning to Taiwan from the US for upgrades. Asked about the matter, the Ministry of National Defense declined to comment. The jets had been part of training at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona and had briefly landed in Honolulu, where the photographer, Aeros808, had spotted them, a source said. The jets did not land in Guam, which had been done in 1996 when the US Air Force delivered F-16s to Taiwan, the source said, adding that the