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Rainfall brings no relief to drought in central, southern Taiwan

Man-made rain and new project in Hsinchu are expected to help with water supply

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The Zengwen reservoir in south Taiwan is still less than 15 percent full despite recent rainfall.

The Zengwen reservoir in south Taiwan is still less than 15 percent full despite recent rainfall. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Even though the Lunar New Year holiday started with rain, reservoirs in central and south Taiwan are still only 20 percent full, reports said Saturday (Feb. 13).

The problem started in 2020, the first time in 56 years that Taiwan did not register any typhoons at all, CNA reported. As a result, many parts of the country, especially Taoyuan City and Hsinchu County, two areas in the northwest with a thriving industrial sector, are facing a severe situation.

When a seasonal northeasterly monsoon arrived on Feb. 10, the authorities took the opportunity to give nature a hand and create artificial rain at 12 reservoirs, according to CNA. The measure produced an extra 10 million tons of water, raising the water level at each reservoir by an average of 10 to 20 millimeters.

In north Taiwan, the Shimen reservoir was 58.5 percent full, while the Xinshan and Feicui reservoirs showed water levels at 90 percent of capacity. However, most reservoirs further south were barely 20 percent full, with the Zengwen reservoir, the largest in the south, containing only 14.9 percent of its maximum level.

An emergency plan to make potable water from the sea in Hsinchu was completed last month, allowing for an extra supply of up to 3,000 tons of water per day. This will eventually add an extra 10,000 tons by the end of February.


Updated : 2022-01-20 16:02 GMT+08:00

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