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Central Taiwan introduces water rationing amid rising drought concerns

Residents will go without tap water 2 days per week starting April 6

Drought has drastically lowered water level of scenic Sun Moon Lake in Nantou County.

Drought has drastically lowered water level of scenic Sun Moon Lake in Nantou County. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Residents of parts of Taichung, Hsinchu, and the counties of Miaoli, Changhua, and Hsinchu will have to go without running water two days per week next month amid a worsening drought, the government decided Wednesday (March 24).

Despite some recent rainfall, the situation in the affected areas has hardly improved, leading to the new restrictions from April 6, CNA reported. The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) also announced that technology parks and industrial zones in these areas do not fall under the measures, as they have already made efforts to reduce water consumption and rely more on recycled water.

For the restrictions in Taichung City and Miaoli County to end, the region would need to see 300 additional millimeters of rain by the end of May, the MOEA said. Weather forecasters predict that rainfall in the next two weeks will be lower than average, and water levels at local reservoirs are already low, with some at less than 15 percent capacity.

The five-day water limit will affect about 1 million households in Taichung and 64,000 people in Miaoli, according to the report. Some areas will not receive water on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, while in the rest, taps will stay dry Thursdays and Fridays.

Schools and health institutions threatened by shortages will be allowed to call on the fire services for the necessary water, while swimming pools, saunas, and car washes in the region will still be allowed to operate on the condition they reduce their water consumption.