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Water supply problem eases as rains drench Taiwan

TAIPEI--The water shortage in most parts of Taiwan has eased as recent weather fronts have brought heavy rains to parched areas, according to the Water Resources Agency (WRA) under the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

In Taoyuan, the southern area of Chiayi, and some parts of New Taipei, the water situation has returned to normal, while water rationing measures in Tainan, south Taiwan, have been lifted, the WRA said.

It said that in the period May 3-19, a total of 63.73 million tons of water was collected in Shimen Reservoir in northern Taiwan, sending the levels from 54 percent to 69 percent of capacity.

In that period, Renyitan Dam in southern Taiwan collected 6.33 million tons of water, rising from 24 percent to 36 percent of capacity, the WRA said.

Further south, Nanhua Reservoir has filled up to 49 percent of water capacity, after collecting 35.83 million tons of water, the agency said.

The WRA moved its rating of the water situation in New Taipei's Xinzhuang, Linkou, and Banqiao districts, Taoyuan and Chiayi from a code green to blue on its five-color scale, indicating that the water supply had gone from tight to normal.

The WRA said the water supply in those areas is likely to remain stable at least until the end of July.

Meanwhile, irrigation of the second rice crop in the Chiayi-Tainan area will proceed as scheduled this month, in light of the improved water situation, but on a rotational basis, Taiwan Chia-Nan Irrigation Association said.

It said that while Wushantou and Zengwen reservoirs in the area have collected 30 million tons of water so far this month, their combined storage in April was only 72 million tons — less than 15 percent of total capacity.

Rotational irrigation will be adopted since it will require at least 400 million tons of water to fully irrigate the 40,000 hectares of farmland in the area, the association said.

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