The country is experiencing its worst drought in decades after no typhoons made landfall in Taiwan last year leaving reservoirs perilously low levels. The rationing comes on top of restrictions imposed from February that required factories and industrial zones to cut water usage by up to 15 percent in some central and southern parts of the island.
The state water company is cutting supplies in Taichung, Miaoli and northern Changhua county for two days a week and the government has warned the country it must "prepare for the worst." On ration days cars cannot be washed and hair cannot washed in hairdressing salons.
Foundry TSMC has a Gigafab complex on the science industrial park in Daya part of Taichung City but it is believed that this has been exempted from the rationing, along with other high tech businesses.
TSMC and another Hsinchu-headquartered foundry UMC have already started using tankers to bring in water supplies (see UMC joins TSMC in using water tankers amid drought ) but semiconductor manufacturing is highly water intensive.
Taiwan is now in its dry season which usually lasts until May but without significant rainfall it appears that the water shortage could impact chip manufacturing just when there is a shortfall in chip supply that is spreading from automobiles to iPhones and computers (see Taiwan can keep chip factories going until May ).
Two major science parks in Taichung City are not subject to the rationing, the report quoted officials as saying.
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