Typhoon Hinnamnor refills major reservoirs in Taiwan

Taipei, Sept. 4 (CNA) — Typhoon Hinnamnor refilled two major reservoirs in northern Taiwan and raised the water level of the Keelung River, temporarily relieving the water shortage Keelung was facing, according to the Water Resources Agency (WRA) .

Given the heavy rainfall brought by the storm, WRA data showed a significant rise in water levels at Shimen Reservoir in Taoyuan and Feitsui Reservoir in New Taipei, ensuring steady water supplies for the Taipei metropolitan area at least until late 2022 .

According to the Taipei Feitsui Reservoir Administration, the reservoir received 446.1 millimeters of rainwater from Thursday to Sunday noon.

The rain has already added 57.26 million cubic meters of water to the reservoir, raising its water level by nearly 7.5 meters and increasing capacity from 57.42 percent to 74.48 percent.

The administration added that the water level was still rising at press time, with an additional 42.74 million cubic meters of water still forecast, bringing the total amount of stormwater captured to around 100 million cubic meters and increasing the reservoir to 88 percent capacity.

Meanwhile, Shimen Reservoir received over 13 inches (330 millimeters) of rainwater, raising its water level to more than 92 percent of full capacity, prompting the reservoir administration to discharge water.

The initiation also gave the WRA Northern Region Water Resources Office the opportunity to activate the newly constructed Amuping Sediment Sluice Tunnel for the first time to stress test the project’s capabilities.

In Keelung, however, the typhoon failed to significantly improve the water level at Xinshan Reservoir in Keelung, according to Taiwan Water Corp.

Keelung has recently faced water shortages after the Department of Commerce previously announced that water pressure in the city would be reduced from 11pm to 5am daily from Saturday.

Though the typhoon didn’t raise water levels at Xinshan Reservoir, Taiwan Water Corp. said water shortages in the city have been alleviated as the storm caused water levels in the Keelung River to rise sharply.

However, the state power company did not say whether the water supply control measure has been or will be lifted.

According to WRA data, the water level of the Keelung River exceeded 63 meters at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, prompting the administration to activate the Yuanshanzi Flood Diversion Tunnel to divert water.

Taiwan Water stated that the river’s replenishment is beneficial for the Xinshan reservoir because it serves as an off-stream reservoir, adding that water is generally diverted from the river and pumped into the reservoir.

However, the utility noted that although water will be diverted to the reservoir over the next few days, Keelung residents should continue to be careful with water to prevent another dry spell.

While the typhoon brought a significant amount of rain to northern Taiwan, southern Taiwan experienced less rainfall. Even so, southern reservoirs still received enough rain to supply southern parts of Taiwan with water through at least the end of November, a WRA official told CNA.

For example, Tainan’s Tsengwen Reservoir received less rainfall than northern reservoirs, but its water level still rose to over 50 percent of its capacity after absorbing 123.6 millimeters of rainwater.

Currently, the reservoir has received 15.53 million cubic meters of water, with the total amount expected to reach about 21 million cubic meters in the next few days.

In contrast, Tainan’s Nanhua Reservoir has started to discharge water since it was almost at full capacity before the typhoon.

As of 6:00 p.m., water continued to flow from the reservoir.

In order to ensure a stable water supply until the end of November, the WRA called on the population to continue to use water sparingly.

(By Chang Ai, Kao Hua-chien, Wu Jui-chi, Huang Li-yun and James Lo)


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