TAIPEI, May 31 (Reuters) - Taiwan's government on Monday
delayed imposing further water curbs that would have impacted
major chip-making hubs after heavy rainfall began replenishing
reservoirs on the drought-struck island.
Sub-tropical Taiwan is dealing with its worst drought in
history after no typhoons directly hit the island last year,
meaning much less rain.
Taiwan had planned on tightening curbs on the use of water
from June 1 in the important chip making hubs of Hsinchu and
Taichung, requiring companies in the two science parks to cut
water consumption by 17%.
But after heavy rainfall over the weekend that is expected
to last all week, heralding the start of what Taiwan calls the
"plum rain" season, the government has postponed those plans,
Economy Minister Wang Mei-hua said in a statement.
However, the ministry's Water Resources Agency said that
from mid-June the outlook was drier, meaning the drought alert
would stay and people should still be conserving water.
The world's largest contract chipmaker, Taiwan Semiconductor
Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) , has factories in
both Hsinchu and Taichung.
The company has said it has seen no impact on production
from the drought and would continue to trim its water use and
buy supplies from tanker trucks for some foundries.
Technology companies have long complained about tight water
supplies, which became more acute after factories expanded
production following a Sino-U.S. trade war.
The drought has also exacerbated problems with electricity
management, leading to two major island-wide blackouts in less
than a week.
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)