Apple supplier TSMC hires water trucks as Taiwan drought continues

Posted:
in General Discussion
Apple Silicon processor manufacturer TSMC is ordering deliveries of water in an attempt to minimize disruption caused by Taiwan's ongoing drought.

TSMC
TSMC


Taiwan's central and southern regions are many months into a drought which now sees reservoir levels below 20% of capacity. Technology firms including Apple manufacturer TSMC are making contingency plans following a year which featured little rainfall, and no regularly-expected typhoon.

According to Reuters, the Taiwanese government is so far focused primarily on the damage to the country's auto industry. However, water shortages for all technology firms have been exacerbated by the China-US trade war.

Reportedly, the trade dispute has led to an expansion of local factories, and hence greater demand for the already diminishing water supply. TSMC told Reuters that it has not yet been directly affected, but is planning ways to postpone cutting production.

"We are making preparations for our future demand," a spokesperson told Reuters. These preparations, which the spokesperson also described as a "pressure test," involve ordering truckloads of water. The supply is being sent to TSMC's various facilities across the region.

Other semiconductor companies in Taiwan have begun doing the same. That includes Vanguard International, which has previously supplied processors for Apple EarPods.

The water issues in Taiwan come as there is already a worldwide shortage of key rare-earth materials used in processors exacerbating the chip supply globally. President Biden is planning to sign an executive order aimed at helping both domestic US production, and international supply chains.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    Umm...... was there regularly-expected typhoons before? Enough to plan on water delivery? I thought typhoons were to be avoided. Where are they trucking the water from? They are on an island, surrounded by rising seawater. Can't they pull enough water from the humidity in the air or use desalination? 
    pulseimages
  • Reply 2 of 7
    Umm...... was there regularly-expected typhoons before? Enough to plan on water delivery? I thought typhoons were to be avoided. Where are they trucking the water from? They are on an island, surrounded by rising seawater. Can't they pull enough water from the humidity in the air or use desalination? 
    They may be trucking from desalination plants or that may be too expensive and they could be trucking from another basin that has higher water levels.
  • Reply 3 of 7
    Umm...... was there regularly-expected typhoons before? Enough to plan on water delivery? I thought typhoons were to be avoided. Where are they trucking the water from? They are on an island, surrounded by rising seawater. Can't they pull enough water from the humidity in the air or use desalination? 
    The same way the US eastern seaboard has regularly-expected hurricanes/tropical storms.

    It's pretty hard to move your country out of the path.  ;)
    tokyojimupulseimages
  • Reply 4 of 7
    mknelson said:
    Umm...... was there regularly-expected typhoons before? Enough to plan on water delivery? I thought typhoons were to be avoided. Where are they trucking the water from? They are on an island, surrounded by rising seawater. Can't they pull enough water from the humidity in the air or use desalination? 
    The same way the US eastern seaboard has regularly-expected hurricanes/tropical storms.

    It's pretty hard to move your country out of the path.  ;)
    No, the article implies they they depend on tropical storms for water. You can't plan on any state getting hit regular enough to use the water left behind from a tropical storm. There is planning to drawdown lakes to ensure further flooding is avoided.
  • Reply 5 of 7
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,105member
    Subtropical areas are in a zone where they depend on cyclones for much of their wet season rain. Not close enough to the tropics for regular convective rain, too close to the tropics for the higher latitude fronts.  In Taiwan’s case it is an island away from continental influences. So more so.

    Northern Australia is the same. It is the big storms that provide the big drinks for the woodland and grassland savannahs of the outback that may be all you get until the next wet season. Just not fun if you are on the coast in the path of these beasts, but oh, so necessary.

    it is also why, particularly with growing populations,  water storage needs to be regularly added to. But there have been very few water supply dams built in the last four decades, and when they are attempted, are plagued with endless lawfare and protests. So when the storms don’t come everyone acts surprised when water supply tightens months later.
    edited February 24 Fidonet127
  • Reply 6 of 7
    smalmsmalm Posts: 671member
    Normal weather for Taiwan under la niña conditions, especially if it is a strong one like this season.
    pulseimages
  • Reply 7 of 7
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,511member
    Taiwan has 18 water reservoirs and the trucking is likely from one reservoir to another. The reservoirs have only a 1-2 month supply of water, so they rely on frequent rains. Taiwan gets 2.5 meters of rain per year, generally. There have been a few droughts before, typically one every ten years. In my opinion Taiwan should copy what Los Angeles did. (Los Angeles didn't do it to stop evaporation, but this actually does reduce evaporation by 80-90%.)



    Farming uses the most water in Taiwan, followed by residences, and finally factories. Taiwan has cheap water, considering how difficult it is to obtain water there. Some countries in similar situations have water prices 20 times higher than Taiwan. But Taiwan is a democracy and the voters there will only elect people who agree to maintain cheap water prices.
    pulseimages
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