Water Restrictions

Please have a look at this article from today’s Taipei Times “Mayor Ma sees no need for water rationing yet”

I am willing to bet that if there is a repeat of this year’s dry conditions Taipei residents will again face strict water restrictions. Are the people running this country ostriches with their heads buried in the sand or what?

Well, at least they have started worrying earlier. That’s progress. Who knows, they might do something about it in 2010.

He’s just too excited about winning the election… :unamused:

Mayor Ma’s announcement is encouraging news, but I still fear the worst. Unless we have unusually heavy amounts of rain in the next few months, we’ll start to run seriously short of water by the early spring. I don’t so much mind the water rationing in the home: water can easily be stored in bathtubs and buckets, and getting used to using water frugally is good for us all. What worries me is the prospect of another closure of swimming-pools, which will have to be one of the first measures taken to conserve dwindling water resources. I’ve recently splashed out a lot of money to buy a new flat, largely because the building is going to possess a fitness club and swimming-pool in the basement. The club is nearly ready to open, and I’m so looking forward to being able to just pop out the door, into the lift, and down to the pool in under a minute for a swim every day. Just my luck if the water shortage renders the pool unusable!

One other thing: I’m surprised at the reported reduction in water consumption. I wouldn’t have expected that the average Taipei resident would make any effort to conserve water except when actually faced by an immediate drought and water restrictions in effect. If it’s really true and there’s no other explanation for it, then full marks to all our Taiwanese neighbors. Could they really at last be getting the message about the need to conserve resources? If so, there may yet be hope for this ravaged, despoiled and over-exploited island.

While Taiwanese stats are better than the chinese ones, I don’t think that they have managed to bring the water consumption down that much yet.

What I am worried about is that I will lack water for the 5 swimming pools in my gated community. I live TAoyuan county, which gets its water from Shimen dam. It was at record lows last time. I wonder how fast it will get back there again.

The water shortage will certainly have an effect on swimming pools, but come on, that can’t be the most serious consequence of the drought.

Remember last year when it came down to a question of water for farmers or water for industry? While a few foreigners are going to have to get wet in their bath tubs, farmers will be looking at dry fields.

Of course, with WTO and all, maybe it won’t be a bad thing to hurry a few more farmers into giving up the soil and working in a factory. I’m sure TSMC won’t be losing much sleep over a water shortage. It won’t have much effect on them.

they tore up my building’s back for a couple of weeks this fall to put in some new water pipes, i think. had my water shut off during the day for like a week because of it. anyway, i think things are being done, just not sure if enough can be done to counter mother nature when she throws a fit.

when it comes down to it, how many droughts around the world have been solved with lower water consumption? usually the problem only goes away when it starts raining again.

Timogan, the farmers use way too much water as it is. The last time I read the statistics, agriculture accounted for something like 70-80% of water consumption in Taiwan (I forget the exact figure). That for an industry that contributed just 2.4% to GDP and accounted for only 7.8% of employment in 2000 (the latest figures I have to hand). It can’t be justified in a country where water is in short supply. In terms of public good, the fitness, good health and recreation of the few hundred people who use a public swimming pool should surely take precedence over Farmer Chen producing a few more bags of rice that are over-priced and surplus to market demand.

No water in swimming pools. Boo hoo hoo. During the last water restrictions, when they cut off water to a different community every 4 or 5 days I was one of the only ones who was actually affected. My building had no water tank, so I had to fill bottles the night before for taking a shower and flushing the toilet. But I never met one other person who had to do that, because everyone’s got a water tank. If that’s the case, what the hell difference does it make for the city to shut off water for a day? No one I met changed their habits at all, except for not going swimming.

Yeah, but its the farmer Chens that put Da Bien into power. He nearly forgot that for a moment last month, and look where it got him.

That’s an unequal distribution of resources, isn’t it? One gated community has almost as many swimming pools as there are public ones to be found in the whole of Taipei!

What’s more, some of these farmers do rather well from being paid to leave their fields fallow. Leaving a field fallow involves no overheads, does it? No seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, labour, machinery or anything else to be paid for. Just put your feet up and say thank you very much to the taxpayers for that nice fat cheque of government compensation. With farmers finding it harder and harder to make any profit from selling their produce after WTO market opening, I would have thought that most of them would welcome it. There are plenty of stories of people taking up “farming” in EU countries in order to be able to collect EU subsidies for, er, not actually putting their farms into production.

What concerns me now is that instead of putting in place modest water restrictions or encouraging water conservation now they are just saying don’t worry. By the time the problem gets critical they will again have to introduce drastic measures as were experienced last May/June.

I guess one of the reasons current water consumption levels are down is that they have fixed some of the many leaks in the pipes.

That’s an unequal distribution of resources, isn’t it? One gated community has almost as many swimming pools as there are public ones to be found in the whole of Taipei![/quote]

Oh, well… That’s good for me, bad for Taipei. I like it that way, as I hate crowded pools. Do you think they’ll close our spa as well?

Has there been some sort of drastic climate chage in Taipei ? I remember rain rain and more rain. In fact it’s the only place I can think of that rains more than Ireland.

I hear you Mr. He. Last summer the outdoor pool was closed for all of June because of the water restrictions. Fortunately, the indoor pool, the spa, jacuzzi and cold spring pool were not affected, and by July, even the oudoor pool was open again. :smiling_imp:

Seriously though, I am doing my part to conserve water. I did throw a full water bottle into the water tank of the toilet to reduce the amount of flushed water. I only do full loads of laundry, and most importantly of all, I never shower alone! :wink:

[quote]and most importantly of all, I never shower alone!

Eeeew! Don’t you find when you do that, the dog hairs just get into every little nook and cranny? Not to mention that the whole idea is just a little disturbing. I’d advise you to keep some of your secrets to yourself, Maoman, in case Vanessa gets to hear about your little peccadilloes.

Last spring, I was offered a compensation package of NT$10,000 to abandon my paddy after it had already been planted, this hardly qualifies as a fat cheque! :unamused:

You’re right there, Wix. As so often in Taiwan, much of the problem stems from those leaks. Plug the leaks, and you’re halfway to putting things right. And not just the leaks in the water pipes. If the electricity transmission and distribution system didn’t leak so badly, none of those nuclear power plants would be needed. If state and military secrets didn’t get leaked so regularly, Taiwan’s national interests and security would be much better assured. If money didn’t leak from government coffers, public finances wouldn’t be in such a mess. The list could go on and on…

Last spring, I was offered a compensation package of NT$10,000 to abandon my paddy after it had already been planted, this hardly qualifies as a fat cheque! :unamused:[/quote]

Certainly, that is grossly inadequate for a paddy or field that’s already been planted. When an unexpected emergency arises and a fallow-field program needs to be introduced at short notice, the compensation should of course cover all the farmer’s costs plus a good bit on top (at least equal to the value of his labour). But this year there’s no excuse for leaving it until so late. (There wasn’t much excuse last year either, but…er… we’re none of us too surprised by the endless litany of government inactivity, foot-dragging, inability to anticipate and deal with problems before they arise, etc.) This time round, an appropriate fallow-field program should be implemented early enough to avoid wasted labour and expenditure by the farmers, and then relatively modest compensation payments should suffice. It’s not the idea of a fallow-field and compensation approach that’s wrong, but if it is poorly devised and implemented, that cannot be excused.

Chung, are you that fellow who is running an organic farm on Yangmingshan? If so, keep up the excellent work, and may you prosper and your influence spread far and wide.