Taipei--The rainfall in northern Taiwan in recent days has brought 5.3 million cubic meters of water to drought-affected Shimen Reservoir, helping stop the depletion of its reserves as of Friday afternoon, according to Water Resources Agency (WRA) data.
With the arrival of a moist cold front, a total of 24 millimeters of rain fell from Tuesday midnight to 3 p.m. Friday, allowing the reservoir to maintain reserves equal to 52.44 percent of its capacity for most of Friday afternoon, the WRA said.
Shimen Reservoir provides water to Linkou, Banqiao and Xinzhuang districts in New Taipei along with Taoyuan and Hsinchu, and its dwindling reserves led the WRA to decide to impose first-stage water restrictions on those areas beginning March 1.
First-stage water restrictions mean reduced water pressure in those areas during off-peak hours for households, and during non-production hours for industrial zones, the WRA said.
The WRA has carried out several cloud seeding missions, including on Friday morning in the Shimen and Second Baoshan reservoir areas, to maximize rainfall and alleviate potential shortages in northern Taiwan, and the program has begun to pay dividends.
Shimen Reservoir's reserves had fallen from 60.82 percent of capacity at midnight on Feb. 13 to 54.05 percent at midnight Tuesday to 52.72 percent at midnight Thursday, but the slide slowed considerably on Friday.
Its water level even showed a slight uptick to 52.47 percent of capacity as of 8 p.m. Friday.
Aside from Shimen Reservoir, many other reservoirs around Taiwan have also seen their water levels fall below 60 percent of capacity.
The Second Baoshan Reservoir in Hsinchu County was at 47.46 percent of capacity as of 8 p.m. Friday and still falling because rainwater in the area was being diverted primarily to agricultural purposes.
The water level in Liyutan Reservoir in Miaoli County, however, was trending upward Friday night at 54.8 percent of capacity.
In southern Taiwan, which saw little rain Friday, Tsengwen Reservoir and Nanhua Reservoir were both at around 50 percent of capacity.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel