Taiwan Water Scarcity Challenges
Taiwan’s acute drought presents opportunities for U.S. water-technology suppliers.
Taiwan’s geography and location typically means abundant annual rainfall. However, the current drought and resulting water shortages have presented a serious challenge. Recent rainfall distribution per person has plummeted to roughly 1/5 of the world average. It should also be noted that Taiwan’s world leading semiconductor industry, responsible for 15% of its gross domestic product, also is a massive consumer of water.
Taiwan authorities and industry are actively seeking solutions to ensure a steady water supply including building new networks, revamping the water system, and requiring manufacturers to reduce water consumption by 10-15%. As the water shortage may become chronic, Taiwan announced a 10-year US $5.67 billion plan to improve existing infrastructure, including boosting reservoir capacity by removing sediment, replacing leaking pipelines, and building infrastructure like artificial lakes, wells, wastewater treatment and desalinization plants. Final details of the plans are not yet available.
The escalating crisis notwithstanding, many top global brands are present in the Taiwan market and have long-standing relationships with end-users. For new-to-market U.S. firms to succeed, they will need to demonstrate a track record of international success and cost effectiveness compared to existing in-market competitors. The following technologies are of interest:
Seawater desalination as a viable water source, the Water Resources Agency, MOEA has plans for 6 new desalination plants, presenting potential opportunities for equipment suppliers.
The average reservoir sedimentation in Taiwan is approximately 33 percent, and while long-running cleaning processes exist, the techniques and technologies employed are considered antiquated, thus presenting opportunities for cutting edge dredging technologies.
Leak Prevention Management
As of the end of 2020, Taiwan had a water leakage rate of 13.9 percent that state-owned Taiwan Water Corporation hopes to reduce to below 10 percent by 2031. Although some solutions have been tested and implemented, opportunities persist for smart water management systems suppliers.
Taiwan is promoting the efficient use and effective reuse of water. Through 2020, Taiwan reclaimed water totaled 0.65 million CMD, with a targeted water reclamation goal of 1.32 million CMD by 2031, equaling 10 percent of Taiwan’s public water supply.
Please contact Joyce Tang for more information at Joyce.Tang@trade.gov.