Sunday, 7 September 2014

Short & Late Trip Saturday To Neipuzi Reservoir (內埔子水庫) In Minxiong District (民雄鄉), Chiayi County

Today I'm staying home rather than taking the train up north. For one thing I am tired after driving up to Chiayi county and back again yesterday; I went there after work in the late afternoon to photograph a small reservoir I had previously been unaware of (I had been using an older version of google maps on which it wasn't shown). However I became aware of it not from switching to the current version of google maps, but from studying an (out of date) online list of dams in Chinese that I found a couple of months ago.

On that list, this reservoir is named "Neipuzi reservoir" (內埔子水庫)* and it is located about five kilometers to the north of Lantan reservoir outside Chiayi city in Minxiong District (民雄鄉). A glance at google maps appears to show that Neipuzi reservoir is about half the size of Luliao reservoir which straddles the Tainan / Chiayi county border. The statistics given on the aforementioned list only modify this estimate somewhat as they have Neipuzi at a third the area of Luliao (19 hectares as compared to 59 hectares) with just over half of Luliao's effective capacity (690,000 m3 as compared to Luliao's 1.2 million m3). Neipuzi reservoir is thus a very small reservoir.

Despite its' small size, Neipuzi reservoir has all the usual architectural features of a proper reservoir - a sectioned earth dam, concrete overflow spillway and an intake tower housing an hydraulic gate which is reached via a short pier.

On its western side at the midway point, there was also a small pavillion providing a map of the reservoir and advertising the small road running by it as a bicycle lane, though it was obviously not built for this purpose but rather as an ordinary access road for miscellaneous vehicle traffic. On another day with better weather Neipuzi reservoir would look quite scenic. When I arrived there however, the light had deteriorated, but also, judging by comparison to the google street view images, so had the reservoir: its' dam is now long overgrown with weeds and rushes, the spillway step is clogged up with broken bits of bamboo and trash and so it appears to have had next to no maintenance for a long time.

Nevertheless, I did catch a few locals fishing; two on a pipe-raft which was, somewhat ridiculously (given the tiny size of the reservoir), equipped with an outboard motor, and two at the back of the reservoir who had waded in up to their necks with fishing nets...

I stayed only long enough to take pictures and then headed off back south to Chiayi city where I met up with a friend for pizza before driving back to Tainan. I am only somewhat familiar with Chiayi city having visited only occasionally (something like six or seven times) and so I immediately became disoriented when attempting to leave an unfamiliar part of the city centre on minor roads at night. After a few minutes of error-correction I found Minzu road and then I was off. I passed by the Chiayi "UFO" building at 9.25pm and made excellent time by arriving back home in Tainan city just before 10.25pm (despite having had to make a pit stop in Xinshih for gas). I did that trip on the little white 125cc scooter, rather than the bigger 150cc which is still stuck in my garage until I get around to scrapping it. I don't want to make long trips like that again until I replace the 150cc bike with something brand new and twice as big or bigger. That will have to wait until next year.

*However, there is a sign in front of the downstream face of the dam designating it as "Houtopi" and this is what two of the local teenagers fishing there told me it was called. "Houtopi" is also the name given to another very small reservoir in Tainan County's Xinhua district, which I haven't yet seen.

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