TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — According to a 2018 report released by the International Water Association (IWA), Taiwan has the second-lowest drinking water in the world in terms of the price-income ratio, right behind Macau.
Once every two years, the IWA invites leaders from all over the world to discuss water conservation and strategies for countries experiencing water shortages. The next conference is scheduled to take place in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2020.
Chou Kuo-ting (周國鼎), head of the Environmental Protection Administration's (EPA) Department of Water Quality Protection, told CNA that Taiwan's drinking water is cheaper than Japan's, South Korea's, and China's. While Uganda has the highest water price globally, Macau has the lowest, largely due to the autonomous region's rising gross domestic product (GDP) in recent years.
Although Taiwan has an average annual rainfall of 2,500 millimeters, approximately 70 percent of the rain flows into the ocean, said Chou, adding that it is important for Taiwanese not to waste water. He observed that the United Nations has actually listed Taiwan as having the 18th most severe water shortages since Taiwan experiences difficulty when it comes to the allocation of its water resources.
Chou said that the low price of water can be used to the advantage of Taiwanese industries. According to the IWA's statistics, Taiwanese spend only 0.16 percent of their income on water, whereas Ugandans spend 8.8 percent of theirs on clean drinking water.