Taiwan has most of its rivers originating from the mountains with short rapid courses. Rivers in Taiwan are major sources of domestic water, and some are utilized to produce hydroelectric power in the country. Tanshui is the only navigable river, while the longest is Zhuoshui and is heavily tapped for hydropower. Some have served as unofficial boundaries in the country.
Longest Rivers In Taiwan
Zhuoshui River is the longest river in the country covering a distance of 116 miles. The river discharges 28,900 cubic meters per second during peak periods and drains through Changhua, Chiayi, Yunlin SNF Nantou. Zhuoshui River also serves as an unofficial boundary between south and north Taiwan. The watershed of Zhuoshui River covers an area of 3,157 Square kilometers has many dams along its course such as Wushoh, Wujie, and Chichi Weir dams.
Gaoping River is the largest by drainage area in Taiwan, and it is the second biggest river in the country covering a distance of 106 miles. The river is also the largest river in Taiwan by volume. The upper regions of Gaoping River flow through Liouguei and Gaoshu through a series of rugged canyons. The river is home to more than 66 fish species out of which 14 are endemic. The river is used for irrigation, a source of water to industries, and as a source of water for domestic consumption. The lower parts of Gaoping River are polluted by industrial discharge as well as from swine farms.
Tamsui River is the leading in the country by volume and covers a distance of 99 miles. The river originates from Pintien Mountain and has a basin size of 1,053 square miles. It discharges an average of 210 cubic meters per second. Tamsui River flows from the northern part of Taiwan and begins at the confluence of Xindian Creek and Dahan Creek. Tamsui River flows northwards and northwestwards before emptying into Taiwan Strait. Tamsui River faces massive pollution from illegal industry drainage into the river.
Dahan River is one of the largest rivers in Taiwan and originates from the Pintian Mountain. The Dahan River is 84 miles and has a discharge of about 60 meters cubic per second. Like Tamsui River, it is located in the northern part of Taiwan and flows north. It is used for recreational purposes before it turns west to form Shihmen Dam. After Shihmen Dam, Dahan River flows towards the northeast and later joins Tamsui River. The river and the dams along it have provided water for hydroelectricity, for domestic use, irrigation among other purposes.
Zengwun River drains water to Zengwun Reservoir which is the largest water reservoir in Taiwan. Zengwun River harbors the endangered black-faced spoonbills in the Taijiang National Park. The River has its mouth in the Taiwan Strait.
Dajia River is located in north-central Taiwan and originates from Nanhu Mountain. Its river mouth is on the Taiwan Strait and has a basin size of 477 square miles. It covers a distance of 77 miles in length with an average discharge of 31 cubic meters per second. Its water is used to provide domestic water and generate hydroelectric power which is averagely 2.4 billion Kilowatts per year. The Dajia River has cases of destroying bridges or even damaging homes during typhoons and has claimed several lives.
Other rivers in Taiwan
Dadu River also known as Wu River has its mouth in the Taiwan Strait. Wu River flows from the Central Mountain Range and averagely flows 72 miles to its mouth. Wu River is the sixth longest river in Taiwan and the fourth largest regarding drainage area in Taiwan. Like Wu River, Laonong River flows from the central mountain range, 3,952 m above sea level. Laonong River has its river mouth in Liouguei, and it is about 62 miles long. It has a minimum discharge rate of 0.01 meters cubic per second and a maximum discharge rate of 5130 meters cubic per second. There are other small rivers in Taiwan which mainly the tributaries of major rivers in the country and contribute to the provision of water for various uses in Taiwan.