Taiwan cuts water supply amid worst drought in 50 years


Taiwan has further reduced its water supplies as the country faces its worst drought in 50 years. The government has issued its first red alert on water supply in six years on Wednesday, March 24, 2021, warning that reservoirs in the central region are dropping at dangerously low levels.

Authorities in Taiwan have stepped up their battle against the country's worst dry spell in five decades, further reducing water supplies to many areas, including a major hub of semiconductor manufacturing.

Water supply will also be cut by 15 percent to companies in two major science parks in Taichung, according to economics minister, Wang Mei Hua. 

Non-industrial users across Taichung and Miaoli County will lose water supply two days a week beginning April 6, Wang added. 

The government is reportedly under pressure to ensure continuous supply to water-intensive industries, such as semiconductor manufacturing, at a time when companies are clamoring for chips. 

Meanwhile, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) said the restrictions would not affect their production.

"Some TSMC fabs will slightly increase the proportion of water from tanker trucks to improve flexibility. The new requirement for us to cut water usage by 15 percent starting April 6 will not impact our operations," it stated.

Wang noted that earlier in March, Taiwan had enough water reserves to keep its technology companies operating smoothly until May, when seasonal rains often replenish supplies depleted during drier winter months.

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