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Greater Taipei's water supply stable till May

The reservoir catering to Greater Taipei has enough water to maintain normal supply through to the end of May, and authorities have taken steps to help ease the water shortage in some other parts of Northern Taiwan, its administration said yesterday.

The Feitsui Reservoir's current water level is actually some 31 million metric tons more than the average recorded in the same period of the year, the administration revealed.

The Taipei Feitsui Reservoir Administration (TFRA) said that as of 8 a.m. yesterday, the facility held 275 million metric tons of water, or more than 80 percent of its capacity. The TFRA said Feitsui's supply will remain stable until the end of May.

Feitsui supplies water to Taipei City and many parts of New Taipei, which also takes water from the neighboring Taoyuan County's Shihmen Reservoir, which is running dry because of a prolonged dry spell hitting the island.

Water rationing has already started in Taoyuan because of the Shihmen shortage.

The TFRA said that in order to relieve the burden on Shihmen, Feitsui has increased the water supply to some parts of New Taipei.

Feitsui's daily supply to the Banqiao and Xinzhuang areas in New Taipei has now increased to 430,000 metric tons from the 125,000 metric tons seen earlier this year.

Feitusi now also supplies a total of 80,000 metric tons of water to New Taipei's Xichi and Tamsui.

The administration said it will support any steps taken by the Water Resources Agency (WRA) to tackle the drought.

The WRA said it is ready to launch an artificial rain operation at Shihmen some time between 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. today, but the exact time has yet to be decided.

An official from the WRA was cited by the Central News Agency (CNA) as saying that its personnel will be handling this operation without support from the military.

CNA reported that it was cloudy in the Shihmen area yesterday morning, but there was no rain.

Meanwhile, Premier Jiang Yi-huah said the government has already noticed that reservoirs in many parts of Taiwan are drying up, and the WRA may gradually impose controls on heavy water users.

Jiang said the WRA, apart from urging people to conserve water, has already put restrictions on irrigation.

The next step to control water use may target swimming pools and car washes, he said, adding that he places hopes on the upcoming plum rain season to ease the drought.

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This photo taken yesterday shows the Shihmen Reservoir in Taoyuan County. The Water Resources Agency plans to launch an artificial rain operation in Shihmen today to combat the drought which has been plaguing much of the nation. (CNA)

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