National Taiwan University (NTU) and Academia Sinica — two of the nation’s foremost research institutes — also rank the highest in water consumption among academia, a recent survey by Taipei Water Department showed.
The survey showed that the university used about 110,000 tonnes of water each month last year, while Academia Sinica used an average of 89,000 tonnes.
The institutions together use about 2.5 million tonnes of water every year, which equals about half the storage capacity of Baoshan Reservoir (寶山水庫) in Hsinchu County.
National Chiao Tung University and National Tsing Hua University last year used about 87,000 and 83,000 tonnes per month respectively.
Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Yang Wei-fu (楊偉甫) said that research institutes and universities that specialize in science use large quantities of water.
Universities with fields of research that span more disciplines also need considerable amounts of water to cover demands from international seminars, swimming pools and programs they offer to businesspeople, he said.
Academia Sinica General Affairs Office director Chen Hsui-tien (陳水田) said the institution last year paid NT$12.26 million (US$394,000) in water bills.
He attributed the institution’s large water demand to the amount of research conducted by its 7,000 staffers.
He said that it is understandable that Academia Sinica consumes more water than most universities, since its researchers perform experiments on a daily basis, while standard operations at the institution, such as extracting and insulating materials for experiments, often require water.
He said that several buildings on the site were designed as “green structures” and have rainwater storage tanks, so recycled rainwater can be used for some tasks.
Academia Sinica President Wong Chi-huey (翁啟惠) said the institution stopped supplying water to a fountain, and changed the water in its pool and watered its plants less frequently in the interests of conservation.
NTU Office of General Affairs director Wang Shu-keng (王樹根) said the university goes to great lengths to save water, as it spends more than NT$10 million on the resource each year.
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