Water crisis looms in Taiwan in year of zero typhoons

Public urged to conserve water with country set to face shortages

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Mingde Dam in Taiwan 

Mingde Dam in Taiwan  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The government of Taiwan is asking the public to conserve water and brace for shortages as water levels at the country’s reservoirs dip to extreme lows due to an unusual lack of typhoons.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said in a Facebook post on Monday (Oct. 12) that this is the first year Taiwan has not experienced a single typhoon since 1964. The country is typically hit by 3.5 typhoons a year.

Without the abundant rainfall brought by the weather events, dams in Taiwan are seeing alarmingly low water levels at a time when water use is growing due to heightened hygiene awareness amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Feitsui Dam (翡翠水庫) in New Taipei and Mingde Dam (明德水庫) in Miaoli, two major water supply systems in northern Taiwan, have both reported concerning levels. The former is expected to hit its lower limit in late October, cautioned Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), while the latter is only at 21.7 percent capacity now, according to data recorded on Tuesday (Oct. 13).

Water restrictions are being implemented starting Wednesday (Oct. 14). Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Miaoli, and Taichung will be the first affected by the measure, which will see the supply of water reduced at night, reported CNA.


Upstream area of Mingde Dam (CNA photo)