After Industrial Revolution, humans consumed lots of nature resources and fossil energy, messed up carbon cycle in natural eco system and caused global warming, which brought various climate change phenomena. In recent decades, floods and droughts happens continuously, causing serious loss of life and property. Disasters occur more frequently around us in nature, social economy, and politics aspects. Climate change has been happening and will keep impacting all regions and species in the world, thus all nations must consider interdisciplinary ways and develop government-level principles to face comprehensive tasks in the future. To develop an integrated policy in government-level, Council For Economic Planning And Development (CEPD)in Taiwan proposed "Adaptation Strategy to Climate Change in Taiwan" in 2012, establishing the foundation for following policy frameworks and adaptation actions. Taking both international methods and Taiwan characteristics into consideration, this adaptation strategy defined 8 sectors under the task force:
(1)Disasters : National Science Council
(2)Infrastructure: Ministry of Transportation and Communications
(3)Water Resources: Ministry of Economic Affairs
(4)Land Use: Ministry of the Interior
(5)Coastal Zones: Ministry of the Interior
(6)Energy Supply and Industry: Ministry of Economic Affairs
(7)Agricultural Production and Biodiversity: Council of Agriculture
(8)Health: Department of Health
Water resource adaptation
Water Resource Agency is subject to Ministry of Economic Affairs(MOEA) and thus in charge of water resource sector in "Adaptation Strategy to Climate Change in Taiwan", setting the ultimate goal" To ensure the sustainability of the nation's water resources and maintain a balance between the supply of and demand for water" as the core in water resource adaptation. under the impacts of climate change, supply and distribution of natural water will be tougher to control. Following let's discuss 4 key water resource adaptation issues:(1) exploitation and conservation (2)supply (3) demand (4)import and export.
1. Exploitation and conservation
Water resource in Taiwan consists of surface water from precipitation and ground water from infiltration. Seeing ongoing climate change situation and future projection, larger rainfall fluctuation and shorter rainfall fluctuation cycle will occur and water storage will be harder. We have to explore more water to fill the growing gap.
Water from river diversion, reservoirs storage and groundwater pumping support daily operation of livelihood and economy. However, overuse and over development of upstream have led to more torrential rains and speed up soil erosion in watersheds, depositing massive sediment in reservoirs and significantly lower the capacity of reservoirs.
Under the impact of climate change, water demands of agriculture, livelihood, and industry will possibly increase. Under the circumstance of less water supply, adapting in demand aspect is a necessity in case of larger gap between supply and demand. WRA has taken some aggressive practices such as total amount control of water supply, proper adjustment of water price, revises of present architecture laws, save-water equipment promotion, and agriculture system adjustment.
4. import and export
Have you heard of " Water footprint"? "Water footprint" is defined as the total volume of fresh water is used to produce the goods , for example1kg of bread require 1,600 liters of water, while 1kg of beef require 15,000 liters of water. From this point of view, choosing low water consumption goods could be an adaptation action other than increasing water supply and decreasing water demand. Well-utilization of water resource could be an alternative, such as purchasing low water consumption products, implementing industrial save water measures and analyzing/calculating water accounts.