Saturday, 18 June 2011

Nanhua Reservoir (南化水庫) Trip

Industrial and residential demand for water in both Tainan and Kaohsiung is met in large part by the water stored in Nanhua Reservoir (南化水庫). As reported in this short in the Taipei Times last week, Nanhua is currently holding water to about 50% of its' capacity, whereas the other two reservoirs (曾文水庫 and 烏山頭水庫) are at lows. The extra water in the Nanhua reservoir is due to it being diverted there by the Jiaxian Weir (甲仙節流) of the Qishan river (旗山河) in neighbouring Kaohsiung County. A British firm (Advantech) was involved in setting up the weir monitoring equipment there. Jiaxian district (甲仙鄉) is one of my favourite spots in Kaohsiung County, it's about half an hour out of Qishan district (旗山鄉), and lies on the road up north into the mountains running through places like Baoli (anyone know the Chinese character for Baoli?*).

As can be seen from this schematic of the reservoir next to the lower control station, the reservoir is quite narrow in the middle such that it vaguely resembles an egg-timer.

The public observation point just up from the lower control station affords a view directly over this narrow centre of the reservoir. I was quite shocked at how narrow it actually is - I could comfortably swim that distance.

The length of Nanhua lies on a north-south axis, with the public observation point overlooking the reservoir's narrow waistline from the west. This image shows the diagnonal view looking north-east from the observation point past the upper control station. I quite like the contrast of whites, greys and blues among the clouds in that image.

Looking directly north you can see the curve of the dam just behind the upper control station. Frustratingly, the road across the dam was closed to the public (presumably because it first passes through the control station).

In general, the siting of the public observation point affords fairly poor views - the dam itself to the north is largely obscured by the control station, whilst the proximity of trees and bushes obscures the views to the south-east.

I've been around the south-east side on a previous occassion (last year I think), but without the camera. Tommorow I'll go back and scoot around the south-east lip of the reservoir to see whether there are any good views, then I'll probably head up to the north side for a lengthways look. I'm also on the lookout for a good camping spot; camping is expressly forbidden at the Tseng-Wen reservoir.

*I once had the exasperating, yet amusing experience of asking locals in Baoli to point to the traditional mandarin map of Kaohsiung County to show me the character for Baoli. Despite living there, they couldn't actually point to where it was on the map. To this day I'm still not sure whether that was due to illiteracy (being brought up in the mountains) or the appalling geographical ignorance that many Taiwanese people seem to have (and without any sense of embarassment).


  1. I vote for appalling geographical ignorance that Taiwanese seem to have.

  2. There is a Baolai Hot Springs (寶來溫泉) east of Jiasian District on 20. If that's the one you've been to, Baoli could refer to 寶來.

    There's a map on the bottom of that web page.


  3. Herman

    Yes that's the one (寶來) - but I was thinking of the village just a little way down from that, not the hot springs itself.


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