Taiwan’s Commitment To Address Water Shortage
Taiwan’s water supply is impacted by climate changes, urbanisation, and limited fresh water resources. According to WaterWorld, Non-revenue water (NRW) is a problem on the island. In 2013, the Taiwan Water Corporation reported a 27% NRW rate. This worked out to be a NT$2.5 million per day financial loss (US$76,000). In the same year, water leakage was reported to be 18.9%. To reduce these figures, the “Water Leakage Reduction Plan (2013-2022) sets out to reduce water leakage to under 15% by 2021.
The 10 years Plan is expected to reduce water leakage rate by 5.30%, i.e. 1 B m3 water loss, increasing operating revenue NT$ 10.9 B. After accomplishing this project, TWC is expected to reduce 457,000CMD water loss . According to the TWC, not only will this project reduce water losses and improve water quality, it will ultimately reduce the pressure of developing alternative water sources. TWC also expects private participation to expand under this plan, and will benefit economic growth in the short term.
Excerpts from The US Commercial Service Report on “Water Technology Industry in Southern Taiwan” published in 2016
“Taiwan is facing a water crisis and is in search for solutions. While abundant precipitation is received each year, water shortages continue to challenge authorities due to Taiwan’s uneven rainfall distribution, dense population, storage capacity, and geographical characteristics. Furthermore, global climate changes continue to worsen the current shortage situation and present unprecedented challenges to Taiwan’s water system.
Taiwan’s central authorities recently announced the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program for 2017-2024. Within the program, water resources and aquatic environment is listed as one of the five key areas where US $8.3 billion will be invested to solve current issues and meet future needs. The objective is to address challenges including water provision, flood prevention, and water-related infrastructure build up as priorities.”
“As of the end of 2015, Taiwan had a water leakage of 16.63 percent, with Non-Revenue Water (NRW) that accounts for 24.73 percent. The leakage adds up to 1 billion tons of water going to waste each year, equivalent to 2.5 times the Shimen Reservoir capacity. According to the Green City Index study conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit in 2010, the average water leakage rate in Asia Index cities is 22 percent, with Tokyo leading the Asia index at 3 percent. Across the five regions investigated, 27 cities in the U.S. & Canada had the lowest leakage rate at 13 percent in 2011. U.S. companies can enter with their experiences and relevant technologies/products that can lower leakage rates and transfer its success to Taiwan.
The main reason behind water leakage in Taiwan is the deterioration of old pipelines, especially those made of plastic. Due to past budget issues, alongside the focus to provide mass coverage within a short period of time, Taiwan Water Corporation, the state-owned water utility installed mostly plastic (PVC) material pipes for pipelines that are smaller in diameter and closer to consumers. However, these plastic pipes have a 20-year life expectancy and are mostly long overdue for renewal. An investigation done by the Control Yuan suggests that more than 80 percent of the current pipes are past their life expectancy.
Moreover, frequent vibration of vehicles and construction sites contribute to the situation. Connecting pipelines also may be a significant contribution to the issue. Other reasons include earthquakes, land subsidence, and other natural disasters. The current average renewal rate is roughly 1 percent. At this rate, it would take 100 years to completely renew all pipes.”
“Taiwan Water Corporation developed a plan since 2013 going on to 2022 to decrease water leakage. The plan focuses on four key strategies: pressure control and management, efficiency and quality fixation, active leakage control, and pipelines and asset management. In correspondence with the Executive Yuan’s Investment Expansion Program, Taiwan Water Corporation also expects the leakage rate to lower to 14.25 percent by 2020, which is earlier than planned. Significant opportunities are present in alignment with Taiwan Water Corporation’s strategic plan. Companies may look into bringing in technologies and best practices to ensure more effective renewal of pipelines.”
One of The Water Opportunities Published In This Report is Leak Prevention Management
“Leak Prevention Management also poses opportunities for American companies wanting to enter southern Taiwan, particularly for cities like Kaohsiung where leakage rates are elevated. Smart water management may be leveraged to monitor and collect real-time data regarding water quality, volume, and pressure in every pipe. The data should also incorporate geographical features and climate information, such as typhoon data and precipitation calculations. Water management offices can then effectively analyze these numbers and gather insights regarding the most urgent leakage problems. At the same time, these insights can also be used to forecast future needs. This may systemizes accurate and efficient projections as opposed to detecting leakages by using the current human detection model. The margin for human error is decreased.”