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Taiwan’s chief tells residents to preserve water because the island faces worst drought in 56 years


Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen speaks throughout a press convention on the presidential workplace in Taipei on January 22, 2020.

Sam Yeh | AFP | Getty Photos

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen has known as on residents to preserve water and put together for shortages because the island faces a drought, following months of scant rainfall and a scarcity of typhoons making landfall final yr.

In a Facebook post over the weekend, Tsai stated that Taiwan didn’t expertise a storm in 2020 and faces its most extreme water scarcity in 56 years. Typhoons usually produce big quantities of rainfall. She defined that the federal government arrange an emergency response middle to take care of the drought.

Tsai added that the federal government is monitoring water situations all through the island and that it’ll take steps to make sure a secure provide of water for industries and households.

Local reports stated final month that the island stepped up nationwide water restrictions and mobilized emergency water sources, together with a desalination plant in Hsinchu County, as officers anticipate the dry season will final till Could.

Tsai stated in her submit {that a} navy transport plane was dispatched to hold out cloud seeding over the Shimen reservoir within the north — one of many largest water catchment areas in Taiwan. That reservoir is at present at solely 49.13% storage capability, according to the Water Resources Agency. Different reservoirs on the island are additionally at alarmingly low ranges, with Te-Chi reservoir at 10.19% capability and Tsengwen at 15.22%.

Taiwan’s industries are bracing for potential disruption because of the water scarcity.

Chipmakers have reportedly been shopping for truckloads of water for his or her foundries in preparation for assembly future water demand. Reuters reported final month that the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), the world’s largest contract chipmaker, was ordering small quantities of water as a “strain check.” It advised the information wire that it had not but seen any affect on its manufacturing.

If the water scarcity disrupts Taiwan’s semiconductor sector, it may doubtlessly have world ramifications because the business faces a chips provide crunch on account of a spike in demand for client electronics like smartphones, tablets and PCs final yr.

The scarcity is especially distinguished within the auto business the place carmakers are expected to lose billions of dollars in earnings this year. Semiconductors are essential elements for automobiles in areas like infotainment programs and extra typical components reminiscent of steering and brakes. Carmakers count on to promote fewer automobiles because of the provide crunch.

Final week, Taiwan’s Ministry of Financial Affairs head, Wang Mei-hua, stated that the island’s chipmakers are already producing at full capacity to meet global demand.