Premier calls for water conservation ahead of annual dry season

  • Date: 2017-10-05
  • Source: Department of Information Services, Executive Yuan

Premier Lai Ching-te today received a briefing on Taiwan’s water situation and outlook presented by the Water Resources Administration (WRA), and instructed all ministries and agencies to enhance water conservation measures under their control, with the aim of wasting “not one drop.”

The amount of rain brought by typhoons this year has been below the historical average, said the premier. As for the clearly lower water levels in the nation’s reservoirs as Taiwan enters its dry season, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) has already issued warnings and adopted contingency procedures. Nevertheless, the MOEA indicated that developments must be closely monitored, and plans prepared to respond to possible shifts.

Premier Lai ordered the Central Weather Bureau to assist in accurately forecasting future rainfall, and that when conditions are ripe, responsible teams should perform cloud seeding to increase rainfall. The premier also directed the MOEA and the Ministry of Education to improve guidance for water conservation education.

Responsibility for ensuring reliable water resources falls squarely on the government, said Premier Lai. In the face of climate extremes, the MOEA should accelerate efforts to put already-approved programs into action and carry out forward-looking infrastructure projects, all aimed at creating a positive environment for stable water use. This includes a program encompassing the overall water environment, under which additional regular and reserve water delivery capacities will be developed by expanding sources of water while reducing use.

The MOEA said that although the nation’s reservoirs are currently between 60 and 90 percent full, supplies will trend downward as the dry season in Taiwan gradually unfolds. Heavy water use in the Taoyuan area supplied by the Shimen Reservoir makes the situation there relatively more serious.

The WRA has held 18 meetings since August to discuss the water situation, the MOEA said. Current response measures include limiting the overall amount of water drawn from reservoirs, increasing the amount of water supplied to the Banxin area from the Feicui Reservoir, and implementing agricultural water projects to improve irrigation controls and reduce water use. Concurrently, supervision of water resources throughout Taiwan is being enhanced, and all possible future scenarios are being modelled to facilitate a rolling review of contingency procedures.