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Synapticism

An experiential journal of synchronicity and connection

On The Edge of Agongdian Reservoir 阿公店水庫

The control tower near the north end of the levee at Agongdian Reservoir, Kaohsiung 高雄.

Agongdian Reservoir 阿公店水庫 (occasionally romanized in the old Wade–Giles style as Akungtien Reservoir; literally “Grandpa’s Shop”) is located amid the low hills of central Kaohsiung 高雄 in southern Taiwan 台灣. Construction began in the Japanese colonial era but was not completed until 1953, largely because of the high amount of silt in the waterways flowing into it. Even now considerable effort must be undertaken to dredge the reservoir every season.

Nowadays it is ringed by a 10 kilometer trail that invites joggers and cyclists out to the hinterland to enjoy a break from the concrete jungle. There is even an automated Kaohsiung City Public Bike rental kiosk at the southern end of the reservoir—but I brought my own. Actually, I was only passing through when I took this picture of the diminutive control tower in June 2015, cycling from Tainan 台南 to Pingtung 屏東.

For an exhaustive look at the history and engineering of the reservoir check out this post (in English). More Chinese language content can be found here, here, here, and here.

1 Comment

  1. “Construction began in the Japanese colonial era but was not completed until 1953, largely because of the high amount of silt in the waterways flowing into it.”

    That was a secondary concern. The first reason for the halt in construction was allied bombing during the war. When construction recommenced sometime after the war ended and the KMT had taken up its’ position in Taiwan, then the sedimentation of the water became a problem. Malaria and dengue fever would almost certainly have been a recurring problem during construction too, and it’s likely some number of locals and conscripted KMT soldiers died whilst building it.

    Today, the dredging of the reservoir every summer is undertaken to prevent, rather than relieve, the silting up of the reservoir bed. There is an elaborate trans-basin diversion channel which diverts clean, silt-free water from the Cishan river valley irrigation canals westward through the hills and beneath the mudstone landscape of Tianliao district and into the back end of Agongdian reservoir. This transbasin diversion channel opens in the fall before the dry season sets in. Thus, unlike every other reservoir in Taiwan, Agongdian is typically full during the dry, winter months and empty during the wet, summer months.

    There may also be a plan to build a new off-stream reservoir behind Agongdian which will be fed by this same trans-basin diversion channel, only in the summer months, rather than the winter months thus allowing more water to be saved.

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