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Taiwan to spend US$5.65 billion to improve water infrastructure

Government plans to boost reservoir capacity, invest in new infrastructure

Catchment area of ​​Zengwen Reservoir almost dry.

Catchment area of ​​Zengwen Reservoir almost dry. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The government is planning to spend NT$160 billion (US$5.65 billion) to improve Taiwan's water infrastructure amid one of the worst droughts in recent memory.

Water Resources Agency (WRA) Deputy Director-General Wang Yi-feng (王藝峰) said during a radio interview on Tuesday (March 16) that improvements could increase the country's annual water collection and conservation capacity by 1 billion cubic meters by 2031, CNA reported. According to Wang, Taiwan gets on average around 2,500 millimeters — or 80 to 90 billion cubic meters — of rainfall a year, of which about 50 billion m³ flows directly into the ocean.

Rain typically falls during the plum rain season from May to June and during afternoon summer thundershowers and typhoons, Wang pointed out. Taking away one can lead to a water crisis.

According to Wang, the NT$160 billion will be spent over the next decade to boost the country’s reservoir capacity by removing sediment, replacing leaking pipelines, and building infrastructure like artificial lakes, water recycling plants, desalinization plants, and wells.

The deputy director said 11 water recycling plants are slated to be finished by 2026, boosting the nation’s daily water supply by 334,000 m³. Desalinization plants are also planned for Tainan, Kaohsiung, and Hsinchu, he added.

Southern and central Taiwan are in the middle of a severe drought that has been exacerbated by the lack of typhoons making landfall in 2020.

Updated : 2021-12-03 17:49 GMT+08:00