Japan faces possible water shortages due to low rainfall

Japan faces possible water shortages due to low rainfall

The water level is much lower than normal at Sameura Dam in Kochi Prefecture on June 27. Japan Water Agency concerns have been raised about possible water shortages this summer, a problem that could cause the burden on people to conserve energy to prevent blackouts in the scorching heat.

From May 29 to June 25 rainfall along the Sea of Japan coast of eastern Japan was only 69 percent the level of average years, while in western Japan the figure was 78 percent, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

The low rainfall in western Japan has resulted in restrictions on water intake at dams.

The water level at Sameura Dam in Kochi Prefecture on the main island of Shikoku was 35 percent of capacity. The level at this time of year would be about 86 percent in normal years.

Rainfall in urban areas was much less than in average years. During the rainy season, central Tokyo received only 59.0 millimeters of rain, compared with the average of 127.5 mm.

Nagoya had 82.5 mm, while the average figure is 96.6 mm.

Compared to past data, this is an extremely rare level of low rainfall, said Takafumi Umeda, who heads the severe weather information center under the JMA. Drought measures should also be implemented in other areas. He said that precautions should still be taken for possible downpours because the rain front could temporarily return, even to areas where the rainy season is considered over.

In recent years, a number of torrential rains have caused landslides and flooding.

During the last year, record rainfall hit western Japan after the rainy season ended.

Heavy rainfall was forecast in other parts of Japan on June 28, despite the sweltering heat in many parts of Japan.

As much as 100 mm of rain were forecast for Hokkaido and the Tohoku and Hokuriku regions during the 24 hour period until 6 p.m. on June 28, as much as 100 mm of rain was forecast.