Wastewater reuse to be integral to Taiwan development

Successful results from a wastewater-reuse demonstration plant in Taiwan mean that wastewater recycling is set to become an integral part of daily life in the country, helping it to achieve sustainable development, the country’s minister of economic affairs, Shih Yen-shiang, said on 29 March 2011.

“Taiwan has only one-third of Japan and South Korea’s freshwater per capita,” Shih is quoted saying in Taiwan Today. “Given the scarcity of our resources, it is imperative that we start using more recycled water.”

The minister spoke at a news conference presenting the results of a wastewater treatment demonstration plant at the Nanzi Export Processing Zone in Kaohsiung City in southern Taiwan. The NT$ 67 million (US$ 2.26 million) plant can treat 4,000 m³/d of wastewater and produce 1,800 m³/d of recycled water for industrial use.

The MOEA-planned facility began operations in January 2011 after a two-year process of design, construction and testing.

“Although capacity is modest in comparison with other facilities in the region, it will spearhead Taiwan’s efforts to use more treated water in a variety of areas,” Shih said. “We also urge firms that consume large amounts of water to install recycling facilities and reduce stress on Taiwan’s resources.”

MOEA statistics show that Taiwan produces 1.8 billion m³ of industrial wastewater per annum, about 65% of which is recycled. The Nanzi plant is expected to lift this to 75%, according to the Water Resources Agency.