Taipei, March 19 (CNA) Environmental protection groups held water resources protection campaign activities around Taiwan Sunday to mark World Water Day, which falls on March 22.
The Taiwan Water Resources Protection Union (TWRPU) staged a skit in front of Taipei City Hall, demanding that the city government strengthen efforts to protect water resource areas, particularly the Feitsui Reservoir, while expressing opposition to a city plan for the development of a direct rail line linking Taipei and Yilan that would go through the Feitsui Reservoir catchment area.
Noting that the quality of water in the Feitsui Reservoir, which supplies water to nearly 6 million people in the Greater Taipei area, is the best in Taiwan, TWRPU Director Jennifer Nien (粘麗玉) said the government should attach greater importance to ensure the quality of water sourced from the reservoir and should not allow the planned railway line to pass through the catchment area.
Wen Hai-chen (文海珍), president of the Tsaoshan Ecology, Culture and History Alliance, said that the weather in Taiwan has been mostly dry since the beginning of this year and except for the Feitsui Reservoir, which maintains more than 80 percent of capacity, the water levels in other reservoirs have fallen to 40-50 percent of capacity.
The sufficient water supply of the Feitsui Reservoir is because of normal precipitation in the Greater Taipei area and the better design of the Feitsui Reservoir for water conservation, Wen said, adding that the government therefore should not allow the Taipei-Yilan railway line to pass through the catchment area just for the sake of cutting a few minutes of travel time.
Meanwhile, several environmental groups held similar events aimed at highlighting the importance of protecting water resources in other reservoirs around the country.
Activists from scores of environmental protection groups around Taiwan delivered a petition to water authorities in Taichung and Tainan and the Central Taiwan Division of the Water Resources Agency, demanding that the water quality of local reservoirs be ensured by protecting their water catchment areas.
(By Wu Hsin-yun, Hau Hsueh-chin and Evelyn Kao)