Checking the flow

Published: Friday 31 May 2002

Taiwan is facing its worst drought in two decades. To combat it, the authorities are considering rationing water island-wide. Water rationing has already begun in several cities and counties, where the opening of swimming pools has been delayed and irrigation has been suspended.

The Central Weather Bureau's forecast centre said water levels at the island's major dams were at a record low and heavy rain wasn't expected until after mid-May. This rain could help make up for the shortfall. But, local governments' efforts to conserve water have been welcomed.

Since January, the capital town, Taipei, has received just 280 millimetres of rainfall, about 46 per cent of the annual average of the past 30 years.The public is being urged to conserve water and opening of 168 swimming pools has been postponed.

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