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Kinmen may soon get new source of water

Taipei, July 25 (CNA) Kinmen could begin buying water from China by the first half of 2016 to solve its water shortages, Yang Wei-fuu, director-general of the Water Resources Agency, said Thursday. Yang said Taiwan and China are in talks on the price China would charge for water sold to the Taiwan-held outlying county that lies within kilometers of China's southeastern coast.
If a consensus is achieved by August, the supply of water could start in 2016 given that construction of water pipes and a water quality inspection will take about 18 months, Yang said. Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation, the semi-official body in charge of exchanges with China, and its Chinese counterpart -- the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits -- reached a consensus on settling Kinmen's water shortage problem during the ninth round of talks between the two agency's leaders in July 2013. Water resource officials from the two countries then carried out follow-up negotiations on the matter. Kinmen County gets little precipitation compared with the rest of the country and its reservoirs are relatively shallow with limited water storage capacity, Yang said.
The water supply is also vulnerable to eutrophication (the buildup of unwanted nutrients), which adversely affects water quality, he said.
Because Kinmen has limited sources of water, the cost of producing it locally is about NT$50-60 (US$1.67-US$2) per cubic meter, and rises to as high as NT$200 per cubic meter when it has to be brought in from Taiwan. With relations across the Taiwan Strait improving, the Water Resources Agency began studying the feasibility of importing water to Kinmen from China to deal with water shortages and lower the cost, Yang said. A precondition for the plan is that 70 percent of Kinmen's water must still be sourced at home and no more than 30 percent from other sources to limit risks to national security, Yang said.
(By Huang Chiao-wen and Evelyn Kao)

Updated : 2021-04-21 07:32 GMT+08:00