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Japan mulls to raise water level to avoid ‘64 Olympic drought
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Japan mulls to raise water level to avoid ‘64 Olympic drought

Agency News

Tokyo, May 12: Japan is planning to prevent water crisis by increasing water levels in reservoirs serving Tokyo and surrounding areas in a bid to meet demand during the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic games.

The central government and seven prefectures including Tokyo in the summer will check whether by increasing water levels in seven dams in eastern Japan would be enough to avoid water shortages in hotels, restaurants and sports venues without reducing water supplies to residents and local industries. Over 10 million people are expected to attend 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Prior to the October 1964 Olympics, Tokyo and surrounding areas suffered an "Olympic drought" as low rainfall led to prolonged water supply restrictions, The Japan Today reported.

It was due to the collective effort by Japan's Self-Defence Forces and US troops based in the country provided emergency water supplies to help avert the crisis. Supply restrictions were lifted just before the Olympics that began in October 1964.

Operators of the seven dams on the Tone River, the Sagami River and the Arakawa River will examine how far they can increase water without posing a risk of flooding, officials said. Although the amount of reservoir water has increased by nearly six times since then, the country wants to prepare for a worst-case scenario.

According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, the amount of usable water in Tokyo can be increased by 1.2 times if all measures are taken. If there is a shortage regardless of the measures taken, the prefectures may request water from hydroelectric dams operated by the Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc, the officials said.

"We will take all possible measures to ensure a successful Olympics without affecting the everyday lives of local residents," an official of the ministry of infrastructure said. Operators of the seven dams on the Tone River, the Sagami River and the Arakawa River will examine how far they can increase water without posing a risk of flooding, officials said. (UNI)