As a result of global climate change almost no typhoons have made landfall in Taiwan over the past 3 years, and there has been no rainfall above heavy rain in the south for more than 575 days. The cumulative rainfall in the Kaohsiung area this year (2023) is 40% of the average for the same period in previous years. The current flow of Gaoping River is only 6.4cm, 37% for the same period in previous years. As a result, the water situation is quite severe. To this end, the Kaohsiung Management Office of the Irrigation Agency has launched various agricultural drought-resistant irrigation measures to provide farmers with irrigation services. Council of Agriculture Minister Chen Chi-Chung visited Kaohsiung on March 11th, and together with members of the Legislative Yuan Lin Tai-hua and Hsu Chih-Chieh, Secretary-general Kuo Tien-Kuei of Kaohsiung City Government, etc., inspected Caogong Canal Pumping Station and the preparation of local drought-resistant irrigation measures, expressing appreciation to colleagues in the Kaohsiung Management Office.
Minister Chen Chi-Chung observed that it has not rained in Kaohsiung for a long time. The main irrigation water sources of the Kaohsiung Management Office of the Irrigation Agency include Qishan River, Gaoping River and Erren River. Drought-resistant measures include adopting regional rotation irrigation measures, reducing peak water consumption, pumping rivers and regional supplementary drainage water sources, and starting drought-resistant wells.
In response to the drought in the Kaohsiung area, a contingency team has been established to formulate various drought-resistant contingency plans, and to implement countermeasures such as "water finding, water allocating and water diverting." In terms of "Water Finding," each work station has taken stock of various alternative water sources, including rivers, regional drainage, farmland drainage, public and private wells etc. As for "Water Allocating," each irrigation area within the jurisdiction implements irrigation on a rotation basis. Through precise water distribution, irrigation areas under the same water system, such as Qishanxi River Irrigation Area and Erren River Irrigation Area, coordinate and support each other to meet peak water demand. In terms of "Water Diverting," River Management Offices assist in divert river water away from the water intake on the Qishan River, Laonong River and Gaoping River etc. to increase available water.
Finally, the Irrigation Agency said it will pay close attention to changes in the water situation in the Kaohsiung area and adjust irrigation strategies and drought-resistant measures flexibly, while striving to complete the drought-resistant irrigation operations in the first half of 2023 in the Kaohsiung Irrigation Area. At the same time, farmers are urged to cooperate with drought-resistant announcements by the Kaohsiung Management Office. These measures, actively save water for irrigation, and help everyone to better cope with the severe drought.