The tap was cut off on Tuesday in parts of Miaoli, Taichung, Changhua, and Hsinchu, as part of rationing program to tackle drought. Water will be cut off entirely for two days each week on a rotating basis, until reservoirs are refilled by rain.
On Tuesday, locals were seen lugging containers to and from filling stations, to collect water for household use. At local markets, seafood vendors were gloomy about their business in the coming weeks.

Twist the tap, but not a drop comes out. If you need water, you''ll have to go to a water station. Then you''ll have to use it with measure.

Locals fill up containers at water stations. With the drought worsening, crisis alerts turned red in Central Taiwan on Tuesday, which will now lose their water two days a week. The supply cut will extend into the greater Hsinchu area, to three localities supplied by Miaoli''s Yongheshan Reservoir. It will affect 438 households in the boroughs of Zhong''ai and Nangang in Hsinchu City and 27 households in Baodou Village in Hsinchu County. These 465 households will lose their water on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Yang Wen-ke
Hsinchu County commissioner
We have made the best possible preparations for the worst-case scenario, so that all residents affected can get through this tough period. I hope that rationing will be brief, and that the water restrictions will lift after the plum rains come.

Lin Chih-chien
Hsinchu mayor
The government is working to find water. But our residents have to think of ways to save water.

Over in Taichung''s Jianguo Market, many stands were closed on the city''s first day without water. Despite having collected plenty of water the previous day, some seafood vendors said they feared for their business.

We can''t keep this up for long. We can try it out for one or two days. But if no rain comes, it''ll be even tougher. It might get to the point where we have to close shop and stop doing business.

At this other stand, clams would normally be soaked in water to purge them of sand. The water cuts have left the vendor in a quandary.

I don''t know what to do. All we can do is leave some with sand and some without. Our only option is to let our customers know and ask for their understanding. Otherwise we can''t do business.

Vendors are having a tough time with losing their two days a week. Ahead of the restrictions, Taichung set up 347 water stations around the city. Residents without water towers at home turned up early on Tuesday to get their fill.

Over in Changhua, fire departments are dispatching trucks to keep water stations topped up. With no rain in the forecast, there is nothing to do but to conserve and ration, and to dig in for a long fight against the weather.