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Taiwan's rainwater storage capacity limited: official

Taiwan's rainwater storage capacity limited: official

Taipei, April 15 (CNA) Taiwan's major source of water is rain, which falls in large volumes each year when tropical storms arrive, but the island can only store about 20 percent of its annual rainfall volume, an official of the Water Resources Agency (WRA) said Wednesday in Tainan. WRA Chief Secretary Lai Chien-hsin (???) said that about 72 percent of the rainwater collected in Taiwan is used for agricultural purposes, 9 percent for industrial operations and 19 percent for domestic purposes. In view of the fact that more frequent droughts are expected due to global climate change, Taiwan residents need to develop a habit of conserving water, Lai said at a conference on water and drought issues, held at National Cheng Kung University (NCKU). In Taipei, for example, the average daily consumption is 325 liters per person compared with the average 250 liters per person in most developed countries, Lai said, adding that residents of the capital city can do more to conserve water. The relevant authorities must also devise plans to explore other water resources, he said. At Wednesday's conference, it was revealed that according to WRA data, more than 80 percent of the rainwater that falls in Taiwan each year runs off into the sea, which is a loss of 50 billion tons of water. Taiwan's main water source is rain, but because of its storage limitations, it has to extract more than 5 billion tons of underground water each year, NCKU said, suggesting that the government take action to resolve the problem. For the past few months, Taiwan has been in the grip of its worst drought in decades, which has forced a rotational cut in water supply to some northern parts of the country, including Taoyuan, Hsinchu and the country's most populous city New Taipei. Shimen Reservoir (????), which supplies most of northern Taiwan, was at 24.59 percent capacity as of Tuesday, according to WRA statistics. Taipei, however, currently is not at risk of a water shortage because Feitsui Reservoir (????), which supplies the city, was at 88.84 percent capacity as of Tuesday, the WRA said. In the south, water rationing measures have also been imposed, though on a less stringent basis. In Tainan and Kaohsiung, water pressure is being reduced at night and the supply to industrial users has been restricted. The WRA has set several water-conservation goals, including reducing the national average domestic consumption rate from the current 268 liters per person to 240 liters in the next 10 years, cutting the supply for agricultural irrigation to less than 12 billion tons per year, and achieving an 80 percent water recycling rate for industrial use. (By Chang Jung-hsiang and Elizabeth Hsu)

Updated : 2021-09-27 18:31 GMT+08:00