Drought affects irrigation in the south

20 October, 2020

Courtesy of ICRT

The ongoing drought in the south is likely to affect agricultural irrigation.

The Irrigation Association says the Zeng-wen Reservoir, the nation's largest reservoir and main source for irrigation down south, is now only 30% full.

That means it has just 154 million metric tonnes of water left, while routine irrigation plans at this time of the year usually take 100 million metric tonnes.

Officials say the Council of Agriculture (COA) will decide whether to stop supplying water for miscellaneous grains in Chiayi and Tainan by the end of the month.

The COA came under strong criticism last week when it abruptly suspended irrigation for 18,000 hectares of rice farmland in the north, in effect killing the ripening rice crops.

Critics said the COA should have seen the drought coming and made preparations ahead of time instead of trying to hide the fact until it was too late.

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