national

Kanto area faces water restrictions next week

26 Comments

The Kanto Regional Development Bureau plans to cut the water supplied to Tokyo and surrounding prefectures by 10% next week due to a water shortage.

The announcement came as the result of an emergency meeting held in Saitama on Friday to discuss the water shortage that is affecting the region. At the meeting, a panel of experts agreed that the water drawn into the system supplying water to Tokyo and surrounding areas would be reduced by 10%.

NHK reported that the reduction is to be applied at the eight main dams on the upper reaches of the Tone River and its tributaries, which provide clean water to Tokyo and five neighboring prefectures. The water storage level at the dams was at 70% of the annual average in June, following an usually dry rainy season.

The bureau announced that a follow-up meeting would be held in the event that continued lack of rainfall exacerbates the current water shortage. The bureau reported that as of 12 noon Friday, the eight dams in the region contained around 198 million cubic meters, which amounted to just 58% capacity. The bureau added that this was the second lowest amount on record for July since records began in 1992. The Yagisawa Dam in Gunma Prefecture currently contains around 50 million cubic meters which, the bureau reports, is just 44% capacity.

As well as Tokyo, the surrounding prefectures supplied by the system that will be affected by the forthcoming restrictions include Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama and Chiba. The Kanto Regional Development Bureau is calling upon residents of those areas to conserve water wherever possible.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said the there is little likelihood of rain falling in the Kanto region for the rest of this month.

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26 Comments
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I've always said that water consumption in Japan was extremely excessive. I remember when I first came here I spent ten minutes looking for the kitchen sink plug. Of course, there is no such thing! So, Kanto is going to have experience what most Australians experience every summer. However, I doubt if the restrictions will be as severe or carry as hefty penalties for violators as those in Australia.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Summer heat and little water. Not a good combination!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

when I first came here I spent ten minutes looking for the kitchen sink plug. Of course, there is no such thing!

Modern kitchen sinks tend to be quite large; you'd use a lot of water if you insisted on filling up the kitchen sink every time you wanted to wash a few cups and plates. Most folk use a bowl inside the sink, which means they use less water, not more. That's not counting the folk who wash the dishes under a continuous stream of hot running water, of course (I cannot claim to be totally innocent here.)

You can get kitchen sink plugs, by the way - I know my local home & garden store sells them cos I bought one a couple of weeks ago.

I'm a bit surprised that there's a water shortage. Yes, the rainy season was pretty dry and short, but since it ended we've had torrential rain / squalls almost every evening. Maybe the rain just isn't falling in the right places.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I hope the "throw water on the ground" day is canceled this year because of this

1 ( +7 / -6 )

The Japan Meteorological Agency said the there is little likelihood of rain falling in the Kanto region for the rest of this month.

Weathernews app says rain on Tuesday, that's still July. Hmmm. Still, not much rain this year. Would be sad to see my garden have to go dry. Hope the weather pattern changes soon. Enjoying the cool weather though.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I hope automatic toilets are fixed. Every time someone move a little as sitting on a toilet, suddenly flush for no purpose. So much waste water!

0 ( +6 / -6 )

We use various plastic bowls in the kitchen sink. One for washing the veg, another for washing the plates with organic soap. Pile them into the sink and then rinse them off. Don't leave the tap running just for cleaning your teeth. All our non kitchen sinks have rubber plugs. Turn the water down on the valve under the sink and in the toilets if you have separate sinks. Use less water when taking a shower by turning it off while you soap up. You might even save a little yen on the monthly water charges?

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Rice is planted in the spring when there's more water. By the summer the water is released. In many places water is taken from rivers which otherwise would run out to the sea.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Rice fields don't get much if any water from the same places drinking water is damned up, also you wouldn't want to drink the water used as it tends to come form the lower reaches of the rivers

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Perhaps they should take all of the snow that hits Hokkaido and put it into a reservoir, There is more than enough to go around.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Conserving water also helps to reduce CO2 emissions. In order to use tap water, dams must be constructed, water supply and sewage treatment facilities are required which actually emits more CO2. For this reason conserving water in each household actually leads to the reduction of large amounts of CO2 as a result.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I've always been amazed how much obaasans waste when they make a big kettle full of tea and then cool it in the sink by letting the cold water tap run into the bowl where the kettle is standing for hours on end. Why not make enough tea for the next day, let it cool and put it in the fridge overnight? I mean it's not as though you don't know, by now, how much tea your home or office is going to drink on a given day! Why make hot tea and cool it for consumption on the same day?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Sometimes I wish I lived closer to Tokyo, but in this situation, so happy to be a resident of Kanagawa!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Sure we'll be OK in Chiyoda :) I washed my cars today so am not particularly bothered by this at all.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The Kanto Regional Development Bureau plans to cut the water supplied to Tokyo and surrounding prefectures by 10% next week due to a water shortage.

Hey "Sometimes I wish I lived closer to Tokyo, but in this situation, so happy to be a resident of Kanagawa!" Magnet, the last time I checked, Kanagawa prefecture lies within the Kanto region... Why not simply stop wasting water because it is the right thing to do for the environment, regardless of where you happen to live?

Born and raised in California, perhaps I am more sensitive to this issue than most, but seeing older men and women liberally watering the pavement in front of their homes or shops always makes me cringe. What a waste of water! Will someone ask these people to stop doing this now?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I thought we received a lot of rain at the beginning of July from that passing typhoon. I remember postponing a hiking trip a few times because it rained several straight days.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In the UK in 1976, the govt urged short showers and to stop using baths. They need to do that here as well. But I wonder how flexible the mindset is.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Born and raised in California, perhaps I am more sensitive to this issue than most, but seeing older men and women liberally watering the pavement in front of their homes or shops always makes me cringe. What a waste of water!

Compared to what? Having a swimming pool in your garden?

I doubt that the Japanese are in dire need of getting conservation tips from Americans. One of the US's biggest consumers (and wasters) of water is the city of Las Vegas.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

And ladies, stop flushing the toilet multiple times when you take a little tinkle. Nobody cares about the sound. Drives me batty.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

sillygirl, in case you didn't noticed yet, the flushing sound you're hearing is almost certainly artificial, meaning that no water is being wasted. Google otohime and you'll see what I mean.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@ebisen - i know that - out here in the sticks of the Kanto plain there are still many many places without those fancy machines.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"I doubt that the Japanese are in dire need of getting conservation tips from Americans. One of the US's biggest consumers (and wasters) of water is the city of Las Vegas."

Silly comparison. Japan doesn't have vast deserts, let alone massive and rapidly growing cities in these deserts (LA included). That America has been able to achieve that is testimony to its sophisticated water policies.

Japan, meanwhile, with its temperature climate, gets plenty of rain and yet suffers water shortages. (Tokyo gets twice as much rain as London.)

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Wow, I wonder why Japan uses so much water? Germany uses about half as much as Japan. Well Japan DOES get a lot of rain...

There sure is a myth in Japan that the Japanese like to conserve... they don't.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@Thomas Anderson, considering Japan's population has roughly 40,000,000 more people in roughly the same total area size... You do the math.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Thomas Anderson, considering Japan's population has roughly 40,000,000 more people in roughly the same total area size... You do the math.

Umm, obviously I'm talking about per person.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@Thomas Anderson,

I wonder why Japan uses so much water? Germany uses about half as much as Japan.

Umm, obviously you're not aware of what obvious means, as you clearly referred to countries as single entities in these statements. Regardless, Japanese do conserve, just not always in the ways expected.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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