Drought-hit Taiwan delays further water curbs after heavy rainfall
TAIPEI — Taiwan’s government on Monday delayed imposing further water curbs that would have impacted major chip-making hubs after heavy rainfall began replenishing reservoirs on the drought-struck island.
Sub-tropical Taiwan is dealing with its worst drought in history after no typhoons directly hit the island last year, meaning much less rain.
Taiwan had planned on tightening curbs on the use of water from June 1 in the important chip-making hubs of Hsinchu and Taichung, requiring companies in the two science parks to cut water consumption by 17%.
But after heavy rainfall over the weekend that is expected to last all week, heralding the start of what Taiwan calls the “plum rain” season, the government has postponed those plans, Economy Minister Wang Mei-hua said in a statement.
However, the ministry’s Water Resources Agency said that from mid-June the outlook was drier, meaning the drought alert would stay and people should still be conserving water. The world’s largest contract chipmaker, Taiwan SemiconductorManufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC), has factories in both Hsinchu and Taichung.
The company has said it has seen no impact on production from the drought and would continue to trim its water use and buy supplies from tanker trucks for some foundries. Technology companies have long complained about tight water supplies, which became more acute after factories expanded production following a Sino-U.S. trade war.
The drought has also exacerbated problems with electricity management, leading to two major island-wide blackouts in less than a week.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.