Extreme Drought across the Pacific

Taiwan rations water, drills extra wells amid record drought
Taiwan’s dried-up Sun Moon Lake

DW reports Taiwan drought could threaten global supply of electronic chips, posing a potential risk to the heavily water-reliant production of computer chips.

The two production hubs in Hsinchu and Taichung — where the world’s largest contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has factories — will have to reduce their water consumption if it does not rain by June 1, according to Reuters news agency.

The two science parks will not be affected by the measures, but must cut their water consumption by 17% in line with the country’s highest alert level, set by the economic ministry.

A News - Taiwan is drilling wells, seeding clouds to help the sub-tropical  island ride out its worst drought in more than half a decade, after  replenishing typhoons failed to make landfall
Praying to break Taiwan’s worst drought in 67 years

Taiwan alone produces some 20% of all semiconductors. Companies there, including TSMC, have been expanding to meet the increased demand. However, expansion has put extra strain on the water supply.

The island has also been rocked by energy challenges, with hydroelectric power plants running at reduced capacity, with both consumers and chipmakers increasing demand on the power grid.

In the past week, two major blackouts have hit the country.

On top of water and energy supply problems, authorities are also tackling a major outbreak of COVID-19 with an island-wide soft lockdown.

CBS NEWS Reports / April 12, 2021

Extreme drought across the Western US has become as reliable as a summer afternoon thunderstorm in Florida. And news headlines about drought in the West can seem a bit like a broken record, with some scientists saying the region is on the precipice of permanent drought.


That’s because in 2000, the Western US entered the beginning of what scientists call a megadrought — the second worst in 1,200 years — triggered by a combination of a natural dry cycle and human-caused climate change.

In the past 20 years, the two worst stretches of drought came in 2003 and 2013 — but what is happening right now appears to be the beginning stages of something even more severe. And as we head into the summer dry season, the stage is set for an escalation of extreme dry conditions, with widespread water restrictions expected and yet another dangerous fire season ahead.

2020 was the worst fire season in the modern history of the West, with California and Colorado experiencing their largest fires on record. As can be seen in the below visual, the intensity of fires and acres burned tracks with increasing temperatures. Simply put, the warmer and drier it gets, the larger fires become.


Because of a warming climate, fire season in the West is now two to three months longer than it was just a few decades ago. That means, with the dry season already getting underway in the West, the time to prepare for wildfires is fast approaching.

“And this the writing that is written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.”

~ by Joel Huan on May 21, 2021.

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