To confront the challenges of climate change, and address requirements related to flood prevention, water resources and water environments overall, on April 5, 2017, the government allocated a special eight-year budget of NT$250.8 billion (US$8.1 billion) to construct water-related infrastructure, as part of the more comprehensive Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program. NT$110 billion (US$3.6 billion) has been dedicated to fund the first four years of the water infrastructure work from 2017 to 2021, and this period has been further divided into three terms, with the first term having run between September 2017 and December 2018 with a special budget of NT$25.1 billion (US$813.5 million). The second term, with funding of NT$58.2 billion (US$1.9 billion), began in January 2019 and will continue to the end of 2020. Drawing on the resources of multiple ministries and agencies, the project aims to engineer an optimal water environment where supplies are reliable, all have access to clean drinking water, flooding is controlled, and water can become a part of public recreation.
Three pillars of the program
◆ Reliable supply and a sustainable environment:
Among the eight-year objectives are increasing regular water supplies by 1 million metric tons per day, and emergency supplies by 2 million metric tons per day, as well as connecting an additional 90,000 customers to public tap water. This will be accomplished by developing a diverse array of new water sources, and enhancing the capacity and flexibility of the emergency water reserve system. Reservoir watershed restoration, together with dredging and silt removal, will be accelerated. Efforts will also be made to improve the quality of the water supply network and expand the use of smart technologies to manage water resources.
◆ Flood control and prevention with resilient public lands:
Comprehensive improvement plans for river channels and regional drainage systems managed at the city or county level will be developed. The same will be done for river channels, regional drainage systems, and standard coastal seawalls managed by the central government. The eight-year objectives include improving flood prevention for 200 square kilometers of at-risk land; constructing 250 kilometers of locally managed levees, revetments and storm drains; cleaning 120 kilometers of centrally administered rivers and regional drainage systems; and completing improvements on 16 kilometers of seawalls.
◆ Improved water quality and new water environments:
By linking ecological conservation, improved water quality, and the layout of the surrounding area, the plan will bring noticeable improvements to the nation's rivers, waterways, lakes, beaches, and all areas where people can get close to and enjoy water. By the end of the plan's eight-year timeline, Taiwan will have created 420 new hectares of accessible waterfront spaces.