Even as the nation experienced its worst drought in 56 years, Taiwanese used more water than ever last year, consuming 1.7 percent more than in 2019, or about 289 liters per person per day, a Water Resources Agency (WRA) official said.
As Taiwan was not hit directly by a typhoon last year, reservoirs have received less inflow than during the last significant drought five years ago, they said.
In 2015, rain was scarce over the nine-month dry season, but the current effort to control water usage has been in effect continuously since September 2019, the official said.
If the dry spell lasts until the rainy season starts in May, it would be 19 months of drought, the longest in 20 years, they said.
Despite this, Taiwanese continued to increase their domestic water consumption, using 289 liters per person daily, agency statistics showed.
This compares with 284 liters used in 2019, an increase of 1.7 percent, it showed.
Domestic consumption includes all non-agricultural and industrial uses of water in households, restaurants and stores.
Agriculture consistently uses the most water at more than 70 percent of the nation’s total consumption — the reason farms are often the first target of water controls — followed by domestic users at 17 to 19 percent and industry at about 9 percent.
Domestic water consumption rose by about 57 million tonnes last year to a total of 2.36 billion tonnes, 12 times the maximum capacity of Shihmen Reservoir (石門水庫) in Taoyuan, statistics showed.
Consumption might have risen due to increased hand washing and sanitization practices during the COVID-19 pandemic, even as tourist numbers dropped, the official said.
Domestic water use has trended upward over the past 20 years.
In 2002, domestic use decreased by 0.7 percent due to a dry spell, but the following year recovered by more than 1 percent, statistics showed.
This trend continued until 2015, when use decreased slightly by 1 liter per person per day, it showed.
While average daily water use has over the period remained above 270 liters, last year marked the first time that the figure climbed to close to 290 liters.
Regional use also showed significant variation, with residents of Taipei, New Taipei City and Hsinchu being the biggest consumers at more than 300 liters daily, statistics showed.
To put that figure into perspective, 300 liters is equivalent to about 17 watercooler jugs.
People in Taipei on average used 338 liters, 17 percent more than the national average, while New Taipei City residents used 312 liters and Hsinchu residents used 317 liters, it showed.
Two people were killed and another nine injured yesterday after being stung by hornets while hiking in New Taipei City’s Rueifang District (瑞芳), with officials warning against wearing perfume or straying from trails during the autumn to avoid the potentially deadly creatures. Seven of the hikers only sustained minor injuries after being stung along the Bafenliao Hiking Trail (八分寮) and made their way down the mountain with a guide, the New Taipei City Fire Department said. Four of them — all male — sustained more serious injuries and were assisted when leaving the mountain, the department said. Two of them, a man surnamed
Recent movements by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) have been “highly unusual,” but the military maintains a grasp of the situation, Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) said on Friday, after the military for the first time said it was monitoring troop movements in China’s Dacheng Bay (大埕灣). The minister gave the remarks to reporters before appearing at the legislature on the first day of its new session. The Ministry of National Defense on Thursday evening released an air force surveillance photograph of a PLA Shaanxi Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft, and said it was monitoring the PLA Rocket Force and ground
China’s Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong has asked foreign consulates in Hong Kong to submit details of their local staff, which is more proof that the “one country, two systems” model no longer exists, a Taiwanese academic said. The office sent letters dated Monday last week to consulates in the territory, giving them one month to submit the information it requires. The move followed Beijing’s attempt to obtain floor plans for all properties used by foreign missions in Hong Kong last year, which raised concerns among diplomats that the information could be used for
‘ABNORMITY’: News of the military exercises on the coast of the Chinese province facing Taiwan were made public by the Ministry of National Defense on Thursday Taiwan’s military yesterday said it has detected the Chinese military initiating a round of exercises at a bay area in coastal Fujian Province, which faces Taiwan, since early yesterday morning and it has been closely monitoring the drills. The exercises being conducted at Fujian’s Dacheng Bay featured an undisclosed number of People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) warplanes, warships and ground troops, the Ministry of National Defense said in a press statement. The ministry did not disclose what kind of military exercises are being conducted there and for how long they would be happening, but it did say that it has been closely watching