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Water shortage threatens Taiwan chipmakers

Taiwanese high-tech manufacturers are bringing water into drought-stricken areas by truck and making plans for water rationing to ensure that the island can continue to make and export semiconductors and flat-panel monitors. Water is a crucial element for many electronics manufacturers, and Hsinchu Industrial Park, home to plants owned by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., United Microelectronics Corp. and other major electronics companies, has received very little rainfall this year. UMC, the world's second-biggest semiconductor foundry, said it needs to bring in 600 truckloads, or 18,000 gallons, of water a day. If the drought doesn't break by April 10, Hsinchu managers will start rationing. Although a small rainstorm could bring slight relief, the monsoon season, which could bring heavy rains, won't begin until late April or May. Staff writer Joseph Chen reported from Taiwan.

Tech Industry

Taiwanese high-tech manufacturers are bringing water into drought-stricken areas by truck and making plans for water rationing to ensure that the island can continue to make and export semiconductors and flat-panel monitors.

Water is a crucial element for many electronics manufacturers, and Hsinchu Industrial Park, home to plants owned by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., United Microelectronics Corp. and other major electronics companies, has received very little rainfall this year. UMC, the world's second-biggest semiconductor foundry, said it needs to bring in 600 truckloads, or 18,000 gallons, of water a day. If the drought doesn't break by April 10, Hsinchu managers will start rationing. Although a small rainstorm could bring slight relief, the monsoon season, which could bring heavy rains, won't begin until late April or May.

Staff writer Joseph Chen reported from Taiwan.

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