Water Supply Suspension in Central Taiwan To Continue Despite Recent Rainfall

Water Supply Suspension in Central Taiwan To Continue Despite Recent Rainfall
Photo Credit: CNA

What you need to know

The long-waited rain has temporarily eased pressure on the water supply, but the suspension in central Taiwan is likely to continue.

Recent rain storms have raised the water levels of most reservoirs in Taiwan, the Water Resources Agency said Thursday.

The long-waited rain has temporarily eased pressure on the water supply, but the suspension in central Taiwan, including the second biggest municipality Taichung, is likely to continue.

According to statistics by the agency, more than 13 billion cubic meters of rainwater has been captured in reservoirs across Taiwan between April 27 midnight to the morning of April 29. The amount is equivalent to one to two days’ consumption for the country.

With northeasterly winds strengthening and a wet weather front passing, chances are northern, north-eastern, and central Taiwan will see shower or thunderstorm activities in the near future, the Weather Forecast Center reports. The north and north-eastern part of the island fall on the colder, wetter side of the mountains.

Since Wednesday, the Water Resources Agency and the Ministry of Defense have been seeding the clouds around several reservoirs across the country. It rained briefly in central Taiwan on Thursday morning after two aircrafts were dispatched to help with the effort.

Ming-Dean Cheng, Director of the Weather Forecast Center, said the wet weather front is “moving south” and passing through central Taiwan in these two days.

Since April 6, water supply has been suspended two days each week in Taichung, Miaoli, and northern Changhua. Taiwan is in its worst drought in 56 years due to the lack of rain last year. Central Taiwan has been hit the hardest.

Despite the precipitation, the government is unlikely to lift the suspension anytime soon, following scant rainfall into three reservoirs in Miaoli, which supply water to the three municipalities and counties.

An official from the Ministry of Economic Affairs said it remains to be seen if the measure can be lifted until the monsoon season, which typically starts in mid-May.

Yi-Fung Wang, Deputy Director-General of the Water Resources Agency, said Wednesday that Taiwan has a long way to go before coming out of the drought. "We need several more rounds of sustained rainfall," he added.

Wang explained Thursday that the rainfall in the past few days occurred mostly in northern Taiwan, north of Miaoli.

But most reservoirs across the island have collected some rainwater, including the Baoshan Reservoir in Hsinchu, the official said. The reservoir is one of the main water sources for Taiwan’s semiconductor industry.

For rice farmlands in Kaohsiung, Pingtung, and Taitung, the rainfall came in a timely fashion. The crop is now bolting and it requires a large amount of water at the phase of growth to mature before being harvested in the coming months.

Check out the graph below to see the water levels in reservoirs across Taiwan:

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TNL Editor: Bryan Chou, Nicholas Haggerty (@thenewslensintl)

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