Speed Reads

water woes

Drought in Taiwan forces water rationing in northern areas

In Taiwan, more than 1 million households will have their water cut off for two days a week in order to ration dwindling supplies.

The country is experiencing its worst drought in years, with the lowest amount of rainfall since 1947, the BBC reports. The Shihmen Reservoir, which supplies the northern area of Taiwan, is said to be at only 24.56 percent of its capacity. In addition to a lack of rain, leaks in old pipes waste millions of tons of water every year, and a buildup of silt in reservoirs keeps water from being stored when there is actually rain.

The northern areas affected include New Taipei City, Taoyuan City, and Hsinchu County, where water will be turned off on a rotating basis. Residents are being asked to store water ahead of time for cooking, washing, and flushing toilets.