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Chinese Taipei Battles Worst Drought in Decade

In March, Chinese Taipei is facing its worst drought in 67 years. Fall and winter rainfall reached an all-time-low since records began in 1947.

Stricter water rationing for Taoyuan and parts of New Taipei will be imposed in 8 April, even though rainfall in northern Chinese Taipei in previous week helped raise water levels in Taoyuan's Shihmen Reservoir by almost three meters.

The stricter water rationing includes the suspension of water supplies for two days each week on a rotational basis. The water rationing will be implemented in Taoyuan City and Linkou, Banqiao and Xinzhuang districts in New Taipei City starting 8 April, Premier Mao Chi- kuo said.

If water shortages worsen, further restrictions may be introduced, such as two days of water supply cuts after four days of supply, or two days of cut water after two days of supply, said Yang Wei-fuu, vice economics minister and director-general of the Water Resources Agency.

Shimen Reservoir's supply to agricultural land has reportedly been cut by half, but Yang said further cuts to irrigation may be applied when necessary. Firms in science and industrial parks have received advanced notice, and they are now fully prepared for the upcoming cuts, according to Yang.

The Central Weather Bureau forecasts another dry season down the road. Since the possibility of a delayed rainy season cannot be excluded, the government decided to act preemptively and launched stricter rationing to avoid a complete water shortage in the future.