Taiwan can keep chip factories going until May
Meanwhile in a Facebook post over the weekend Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen called on residents to conserve water and said that a military aircraft had been sent to seed clouds above the Shimen reservoir in the north of the island.
May is when the monsoon season – characterized by typhoons making landfall – is due to commence. However, for now the country is reducing water pressure and instructing industrial operations to cut back on water usage as it experiences the worst drought for 56 years (see TSMC starts to bring in water by tanker amid drought and UMC joins TSMC in using water tankers amid drought).
Over the past century the average is that three or four typhoons have made landfall in Taiwan each year. In 2020 there were none leading to less than half the normal rainfall. Weather forecasters have said that up until May rainfall is likely to below the seasonal average and there is no guarantee that consistent heavy rainfall will commence in May.
So far the drought has had no impact on chip production and there is the hope that reservoirs will begin to be replenished towards the end of the second quarter.
In long term moves to address the situation TSMC has set aside NT$17 billion (about US$600 million) to build 11 recycling plants by 2026.
Taiwan’s water consumption breaks down 70:20:10 between agriculture, industrial and residential and commercial use and it uses 16 billion to 17 billion tons of water annually.
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