TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The southern city of Tainan is closing all swimming pools, saunas, and car washing services as part of its water conservation efforts amid the ongoing drought, Mayor Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) announced Tuesday (April 20).
In response to the country's worst drought in over half a decade, Huang said facilities that require large water consumption in Tainan will be asked to temporarily cease operations beginning next Monday (April 26). He said the city will use examples set by its counterparts in carrying out the measure.
Both Kaohsiung and Hsinchu have ordered swimming pools, saunas, and car washes to shut down this month due to dwindling water supplies. Taichung has also stopped providing water to all 20 of its public pools.
Huang said the decision was necessary to prevent Tainan from cutting water supplies from seven days a week to five. He apologized for the inconvenience and expressed hope that local residents would understand the tough position the city government is in.
Huang also introduced a new reward system to encourage members of the public to save water. The first 600 households to reduce their water usage by over 30 percent a month will receive NT$1,000 (US$35.60) in vouchers, while the first 200 industrial users to meet the same requirement will be given NT$2,000, he explained.
Experts have attributed the severe drought to the lack of typhoons making landfall during 2020. On Tuesday, the Zengwen Reservoir, the largest in the country, saw its water level dip below 11 percent of total capacity.