The rainfall over Keelung in July and August this year is only 10 to 20 percent of the level of previous years. The city is facing a severe water shortage. Economic Affairs Minister Wang Mei-hua traveled to Keelung on Aug. 17 to understand more about the situation and discuss countermeasures with Mayor Lin Yu-chang and Taiwan Water Corporation representatives.
A water supply improvement meeting was held on Aug. 17 in Keelung with Economic Affairs Minister Wang Mei-hua and Keelung City Mayor Lin Yu-chang in attendance. Residents of areas of the city at higher altitudes currently have no water to use, so the attendees discussed countermeasures to deal with the water shortage.
Wang Mei-hua, Economic Affairs Minister: “The military has provided water purification vehicles to supply this region. There is currently one vehicle that can provide 200 to 300 tons a day. Perhaps this can possibly be increased to around three vehicles. We'll assess the feasibility.”
The plan includes sending water trucks to affected regions and increasing water sources. Water pumps are being sent to deep ponds, which should increase the daily supply by 5,000 tons. The government will also use Anle Water Purification Plant to start delivering water again, which will increase the daily supply by 5,000 tons. Desalination plant equipment has been sent to Keelung, and it should increase the supply by 9,000 tons a day once it's up and running.
Keelung Resident: “There are about 10 to 20 days left. What can you do if there's no rain?”
The short-term measures are expected to meet the needs of residents. However, their concerns are not unjustified. Xinshan Reservoir is at less than 50 percent capacity. The Water Resources Agency has plans to create artificial rain, but that will ultimately depend on the weather.
Huang Hung-fu, Deputy Director-General, Water Resources Agency: “We forecasted one on about the 18th and another on the 23rd. We will create artificial rain, and we hope to increase the precipitation.”
Taiwan has not issued a single typhoon warning this year. The Central Weather Bureau said the main reasons are the continuation of the La Nina phenomenon and the strengthening of high-pressure systems in the northwest Pacific that are limiting the formation of tropical disturbances. Right now, afternoon thundershowers are the only source of hope.