More than 400 cases of irrigation water theft have been reported over the past month in Tainan, where first-stage rationing is being implemented due to a water shortage, the Chia-Nan Irrigation Association said yesterday.
The amount of rainfall in the region is only half of what it was last year, the association said.
Due to the shortage, a scheme has been introduced in which farmers are supplied with irrigation water for seven consecutive days, but do not have water for the next seven days. As the first rice harvest season is about to end, irrigation water would be supplied for the last time on June 4.
Photo: Copy by Wu Chun-feng, Taipei Times
The association on May 1 set up a team to patrol its irrigation sources. The team reported more than 400 cases of water theft this month in which some farmers allegedly stole water by inserting additional tubes in the middle of irrigation waterways, an anonymous association member said.
The association tends to warn people stealing water, instead of calling the police, unless they are really hostile, the member said.
The water thefts often occur in the northbound and southbound waterways flanking Wushantou Reservoir (烏山頭水庫), with the northbound waterway reaching Chiayi County’s Puzih City (朴子) and the southbound one reaching Tainan’s Sinhua District (新化), the member added.
The irrigation water for farmland in Tainan and Chiayi County comes from Wushantou Reservoir and Zengwen Reservoir (曾文水庫).
As of yesterday, Zengwen Reservoir had 24.46 million metric tonnes of water, 5.39 percent of its total capacity; the Wushantou Reservoir had 13.41 million tonnes, 17.13 percent of its total, data from the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Water Resources Agency showed.
In other news, the Central Weather Bureau yesterday said the hot weather is expected to continue until today with temperatures forecast to be between 35 and 36 degrees Celsius before the westerly wind drops tomorrow to bring temperatures down slightly to between 33 and 34 degrees.
A front is expected to arrive in Taiwan on Tuesday next week, but it is unlikely to be strong enough to disperse all of the heat felt in the previous days, Bureau forecaster Chen Yi-hsiu (陳伊秀) said.
Additional reporting by CNA
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