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May 27, 2017

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Steady rainfall helps ease water shortage

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Several days of constant rain have finally brought some relief to Taiwan's water supplies, raising the water levels at every reservoir in the country, according to the Water Resources Agency (WRA).

The agency added, however, that levels are not yet sufficient to cancel first-stage rationing, which has been implemented in some regions. First-stage rationing means water is provided at low pressure from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.

WRA official Tien Chiao-ling (田巧玲) said that compared with water levels in Northern Taiwan's reservoirs, those in the south have risen higher due to more rainfall.

The Central Weather Bureau has forecast more rain to fall in Southern Taiwan in the next few days.

First-stage water rationing is still in effect in Taoyuan County, New Taipei's Linkuo District and Kaohsiung, Tien said, adding that the WRA will hold a meeting on April 10 to discuss current water levels at reservoirs across the nation.

Tien said that it is very likely the WRA will maintain the low-pressure water measures in the three areas until the end of April.

Another WRA official, Lin Yuan-peng (林元鵬), said that Southern Taiwan's Tsengwen (曾文) and Wusanto (烏山頭) reservoirs received a total of about 6 million tons of water between April 3 and April 5.

The levels at Southern Taiwan's reservoirs in March hit the lowest in 13 years, Lin said, adding that the recent rainfall has not been enough to ease the drought in Southern Taiwan.

Kaohsiung Water Supply

Kaohsiung requires 1.6 million tons of water per day, Lin said, adding that due to months of little to no rain, the area can only use less than 1 million tons of water per day from Gaoping River (高屏溪).

The recent rainfall has increased the water supply to about 1.01 million tons of water per day, Lin added.

Taiwan Water Corp. (自來水公司) said the landforms of Kaohsiung mean rainfall quickly empties out of rivers, and that sudden rain muddies river waters — both factors which severely affect water supply.

The torrential rain on April 5 broke a temporary dike made by the WRA in Yunlin County (雲林縣) and flooded nearby farms. The agency is currently repairing the damage.

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