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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Monday, February 19, 2018

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Taiwan faces worst drought in 10 years: MOEA

The water supply situation was rather tight

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TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan could be facing its worst drought in a decade within the next year, Economics Minister Woody Duh warned Wednesday.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs had reportedly started taking measures and precautions to prepare for the worse, reports said.

The ministry’s Water Resources Agency had issued a green light, indicating the water supply situation was rather tight, for eight areas, according to a report presented to the Legislative Yuan Wednesday. The areas included New Taipei’s Banqiao-Xindian area, Shihmen, Hsinchu, Miaoli, Taichung including Changhua, Kaohsiung, Tainan and Penghu, reports said.

Because there had been less rain this year so far than anticipated, a period of drought had already started, officials said.

Duh warned lawmakers that any drought expected within the next year could be the worst Taiwan had seen in ten years.

All water usage outside regular consumption by private citizens should be cut in the hope there would be no need for tougher measures before next year’s rainy season, the Water Resources Agency said. As an example, it mentioned that the water supply to farmers from the Shihmen Reservoir had been reduced to 75 percent of its normal level. As the rice planting season was over in the Chiayi and Tainan regions, the need for water destined for agricultural use had also decreased, officials said.

The agency acknowledged that the silting up of water reservoirs amounted to a serious problem. The gravest situation was reported from the Wushe Reservoir in Nantou County, where the amount of silt reached 60 percent of the water mass, reports said.

In other areas, the silting up had reached an average level of 30 percent, according to agency data. More than 1 million cubic meters of sediment had been removed from the Shihmen Reservoir this year alone, reaching an unprecedented level, officials said.

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