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Mobile wastewater treatment facilities to help ease drought: WRA

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The water level of Taiwan
Taipei, May 23 (CNA) A total of 33 mobile wastewater treatment facilities will be available by the end of May to treat waste water and generate up to 9,225 tonnes of water per day to tackle the shortage amid the worst drought in Taiwan in half a century, the Water Resources Agency (WRA) said Sunday.

Those facilities-- 18 huge ones that could generate 500 tonnes of water and 13 small ones that can churn out 15 tonnes of water each day -- are part of efforts to find other sources of water as supply tightens, the WRA said.

According to the WRA's press release, the wastewater will be treated, taking out harmful substances, and distributed for industrial use.

Meanwhile, other sources of water, such as underground water, will be purified to meet the standards for drinkable water and will be introduced to the tap water system for household use.

Some of the wastewater treatment facilities have already been introduced to Tainan and Taichung cities since March, the WRA said.

The agency added that in the case of Tainan, underground water at a construction site near the High Speed Rail is also being used to supplement supply.

Taiwan is seeing its most severe drought in half a century, and as of Sunday, only two out of 16 major reservoirs in the country had been half full, while most of the remaining had been less than 10 percent full, according to the WRA data.

For instance, Shihmen Reservoir in northern Taiwan, the country's third-largest reservoir and a major supplier to the Taoyuan area, was at just 9.1 percent of its capacity.

Techi Dam in Taichung reported having only 1.2 percent of its maximum water supply, while Zengwen Dam in Chiayi was 6 percent full, WRA data showed.

The country is now counting on weather fronts expected to approach Taiwan next week, to replenish drying reservoirs. The fronts are forecast to bring occasional heavy showers across the island, but forecasters said the rainfall may not be enough to alleviate the drought.

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