TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Businesses in Taiwan are allowed to apply for a permit to drill wells as the country undergoes a severe drought due to a shortage of rainfall and no typhoons over the past year.
Companies in science or industrial parks can now apply to local authorities for a green light to drill wells for industrial-use water supplies. Geological and hydrological assessments will be conducted before such plans are granted, including the evaluation of land subsidence risks, according to the Water Resources Agency (WRA).
As the last resort to mitigate drought, well-drilling is a temporary measure. The wells must cease operation once there are supplies of water, wrote CNA.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs said in a Facebook post that access to groundwater is a necessary and expedient measure in the face of scant precipitation. The government has implemented a nationwide groundwater well network for emergency use, with 160 such facilities and a capacity of 340,000 tons of water put in place.
The water scarcity is particularly acute for Hsinchu, home to a cluster of technology businesses. A 26.3 km-long tap water pipeline connecting Taoyuan and Hsinchu was completed ahead of schedule in January, which will channel 200,000 tons of water from Shimen reservoir to meet one-third of the amount Hsinchu needs per day, said WRA.
The front arriving over the weekend failed to bring much relief to Taiwan except the north. According to the WRA’s real-time reservoir level data, Deji reservoir in Taichung and Zengwen reservoir in Chiayi registered just 10.53 and 15.2 percent capacity, respectively.