Damn that Drought

2 03 2009

Yes, first post. Meh.

First some background. For the past 2.5 years I’ve been living in a small Korean town called Taebaek. It’s up in the mountains, gets snow and is isolated enough that we can be considered to be country hicks.

Fast forward a few years, enter Winter 08/09 and where is the snow? It all started off well with an early few inches. And then it stopped. Completely stopped. Stopped to the point where the local ski resorts had to make all the snow required to open.

This combined with no natural snow/rain left us in drought. Before heading overseas for vacation it was an annoyance. Now, its full water restrictions time. We are lucky, we get 4-5 hours a day of water. Others not so lucky, reduced to getting water delivered by truck every few days.

Taebaek drought spurs plea for water

February 06, 2009

The mayor of Taebaek, Gangwon, made a public appeal yesterday, seeking help from other regional governments and companies to supply drinking water to the residents of neighborhoods in abandoned mining villages.

“Due to a severe shortage of drinking water, elderly people, youngsters and disabled residents who are living in the villages near the shut-down mines are suffering hardships,” said Taebaek Mayor Park Jong-gi.

According to Park, the city has faced the worst drought in 20 years this year and tap water is only available for three hours a day.

“Some schools provide bread and milk for lunches because they can’t cook cafeteria meals,” Park said.

“Hilly neighborhoods receive no tap water supply at all, and residents of such areas are solely dependent on water delivered by car. And yet, the drinking water shortage shows no signs of improving.”

Park sent letters of appeal to local governments and companies around the nation.

The dry spell has continued in the region since September of last year and the Korea Water Resources Corporation has reduced the tap water supply since Jan. 12.

Tap water supply was completely shut off for 3,250 people living in eight mountainous villages in Cheolam and Jangseong, making it necessary for people to visit natural water sources in the region every day to get their drinking water.

According to Taebaek city government, alleys in the eight villages are too narrow for the city’s water supply vehicles to enter. The city said the water shortage is particularly painful for villagers in their 70s and 80s, disabled people and youngsters whose parents are not around.

The city asked for drinking water from regional governments around the nation as well as beverage companies.

By Ser Myo-ja Staff Reporter [myoja@joongang.co.kr]

Since then, we’ve had one day of constant light rain, and then again this morning we received 2 inches of snow as a nice birthday gift.

And its tipped to get worse.

Not quite sure how the schools will cope. I’ve got 350 students and staff here, so no water = no toilets and no cooking/cleaning. Fun.

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