TAIWAN

Taiwan lifts water rationing as rains from Typhoon Noul ease drought

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 May, 2015, 3:52am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 May, 2015, 3:52am
AFP

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Taiwan lifted water rationing in some major cities yesterday after recent heavy rains caused by Typhoon Noul helped ease its worst drought in over a decade.

The state water company had cut supplies to households, schools and businesses in northern Taiwan, including Taoyuan and parts of New Taipei City, for two days a week since April 8 after the lowest rainfall in 70 years.

On rationing days, locals had to rely on water stored in tanks, adopting measures such as recycling water for gardening.

The government said it imposed the measure as the water supply situation was "urgent", and the region's main reservoir, Shihmen Dam, was drying up.

But the dry spell eased after powerful Typhoon Noul skirted the island in recent days, causing downpours.

It generated about seven million tonnes of water - one week's usage - to the Shihmen Dam yesterday, authorities said.

"The rationing has been lifted as the water supply situation has improved due to recent rains ... and the central weather bureau has forecast the rainfall to return to near-normal level in June," the economics affairs ministry said.

Water rationing that was to be launched in southern Kaohsiung city this week has also been called off.

The rationing results were better than expected, saving an average 176,000 tonnes of water a day, up from the estimated 116,000 tonnes, the ministry said.

The government last imposed water rationing and anti-drought measures in 2002 in Taoyuan and Taipei, among other places.