Sunday, August 14, 2005

Some stray articles on water policy

In keeping with the theme of water policy that I am blogging on this week, I went out this morning and tracked down some stray articles on water and policy in Taiwan.

Tzu Chi's magazine provides an account of the Meinung Dam project:

Taiwan has one of the highest rainfall rates in the world, but only a small percentage of the rain is stored. Still, people in Taiwan on the average use twice as much water than people in more developed countries. Taiwan has many high mountains and the rain flows off quickly to the sea, so the only way to keep the water at home is to build dams. However, the steep landscape and quick erosion of topsoil can also damage dams. It seems that heaven is playing a joke on the Taiwanese by sending so much rain, but so little usable water. But a group of people in southern Taiwan are pondering how to solve the water problems they are facing.
Here's an article on how Taiwan copes with overpumping from aquifers, a problem also afflicting the US plains region.

Between the mid-1970s and the early 1990s, over-pumping along coastal areas by fisheries seriously depleted the nation's aquifers.

During that period, the nation consumed 7 billion cubic meters of groundwater annually but received an annual average rainfall of only 4 billion cubic meters.

By monitoring groundwater levels and revising land use and agricultural policies, the government has been able to limit the amount of groundwater pumped each year to about 5 billion cubic meters, Chu said.

Here's light shed on one of Taiwan's dumber policies by protesters.
According to existing environmental regulations, proposals for building new landfills on slopes are exempted from an environmental impact assessment (EIA) as long as the area is smaller than two hectares. Chen Jiau-hua (陳椒華), chairwoman of the Taiwan Environmental Protection Union (TEPU), said the lack of EIAs might lead to more environmental pollution in the future.

And the Water Resources Agency is located here. They offer a way cool geological map of the island. And another map of Taiwan's rivers, but the information is not defined well....and some links to local water resource offices.

UPDATE: 8/25 Sinorama has a good article on N Taiwan's water problems...

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