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Tropical Storm Choi-wan weakens into depression near south Taiwan

June 7 meeting to decide on water rationing in central Taiwan

Flooding in Taipei City's Xinyi District Friday afternoon 

Flooding in Taipei City's Xinyi District Friday afternoon  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As thunder showers battered Taipei City and Nantou County, and Tropical Storm Choi-wan weakened into a depression close to the island’s southern tip Friday (June 4) evening, water rationing measures introduced two months ago in central Taiwan could still not be lifted.

Three days of rain was the prediction by the Central Weather Bureau, even though the land and sea warnings for Choi-wan were lifted at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, and the tropical storm was downgraded to a tropical depression.

Parts of Taichung City, Miaoli County and Changhua County introduced a rotational system of water rationing on April 6, with more than 1 million homes not receiving any tap water two days a week.

While heavy thunder showers flooded parts of Taipei City and the tropical storm moved close to Pingtung County and Taitung County, water reservoirs still needed more, CNA reported.

The Water Resources Agency (WRA) pinned its hopes on the “plum rain” predicted for the weekend. If 110 millimeters of rain could fall in the capture areas near key water reservoirs, then an end to the water rationing was in sight, the WRA said.

However, most of Saturday’s rain had benefited reservoirs in the northern part of the country, filling up the Feicui Reservoir to 71.6 percent and the Xinshan Reservoir to 82 percent, but doing little for central and south Taiwan.

All the water added to the reservoirs Saturday reached a total of 19.84 million tons, amounting to a day and a half of water consumption by the whole country, the WRA said.

A meeting of the drought disaster response center at the central government level scheduled for June 7 is likely to reach a decision about water rationing based on the rainfall of the upcoming weekend.