The water resources development plan under the Forward-looking Infrastructure Program is key to mitigating the effects of climate change in Taiwan, Premier Lin Chuan said June 5 while inspecting areas affected by recent nationwide torrential rainfall in the southern port city of Kaohsiung.
According to the Water Resources Agency under the Ministry of Economic Affairs, heavy rains June 1-4 triggered flooding at 1,179 sites around the country, with the Central Emergency Operation Center confirming two deaths, two missing, five injured and 5,591 evacuated as of June 4. In addition, the Council of Agriculture estimates agricultural losses to date in excess of NT$163.52 million (US$5.43 million).
Severe weather producing extremely heavy downpours poses a serious threat to people's everyday lives, Lin said. Incorporating water resources management into the FIP, as well as minimally invasive development measures, will make the local environment more resilient in the face of natural disasters and underscores the importance of the program to Taiwan's sustainable development, he added.
Unveiled March 23 by the premier, the eight-year, NT$880 billion FIP aims to address Taiwan's infrastructure needs for the next 30 years. It involves projects spanning five main areas: digital infrastructure, railways, renewable energy, urban-rural development and water resources.
Under the water resources plan, a raft of measures will be taken to reduce the incidence of flooding and water shortages, as well as create high-quality aquatic environments in Taiwan.
One of the central planks in the plan is the allocation of NT$72 billion in special budgets for flood control and prevention projects centered on 200 square kilometers of at-risk land and constructing 250 kilometers of local government-managed levee revetments and storm sewers.
Another involves spending NT$43.13 billion on cleaning 120 kilometers of central government-administered regional drainage systems and rivers, as well as completing improvements on 16 kilometers of sea walls.
The WRA said in light of recent adverse weather conditions, it will review the plan to determine if adjustments must be made in conjunction with the Construction and Planning Agency under the Ministry of the Interior.
Source: Taiwan Today