Laws and Regulations
Enforcement Rules for Water Act
1.Promulgated on March 22, 1943 by Executive Yuan.
2.Amendment promulgated on September 16, 1944 by Executive Yuan.
3.Addition and amendment promulgated on April 19, 1955 by Executive Yuan.
4.Amendment to Article 30 promulgated on July 1, 1959 by Executive Yuan.
5.Amendment promulgated on August 5, 1969 by Executive Yuan.
6.Amendment promulgated on May 12, 1975 by Executive Yuan.
7.Amendment promulgated on March 16, 1990 by Executive Yuan.
8.Amendment promulgated on November 17, 2004 by Executive Yuan.
9.Amendment to Article 29 and 36 promulgated on November 3, 2009 by Executive Yuan
Chapter 1 General Provisions
The Rules herein are set forth in accordance with Article 98 of the Water Act (hereinafter referred to as the “Act”).
The term “surface water” depicted in the Act refers to water flowing or standing on ground surface; the term “groundwater” refers to water flowing or standing below the ground surface.
The terms depicted in Article 3 of the Act below are defined as follows:
1. “Flood control” means control or fending off heavy rainfall or flooding by artificial means to abate or alleviate the damages of flood submergence.
2. “Tidal wave control” means constructing sea embankment or using other artificial means to prevent damages brought about by tidal waves in coastal or estuary areas.
3. “Irrigation” means drawing water by artificial means to irrigate farmland or crops for the purpose of agricultural development.
4. “Drainage” means discharging by artificial means surface or ground water that is potentially hazardous or may be reutilized.
5. “Leaching of injurious salt” means flushing or leaching soil with water by artificial means to remove or reduce the acid, base or salt content in soil.
6. “Soil conservation” means using artificial means to enhance the rational use of land, conserve water sources, or prevent soil erosion.
7. “Water reservation” means holding or storing and utilizing surface or ground water by artificial means.
8. “Silt dredge” means diverting water to designated areas by artificial means to hold or precipitate silt or transport sediment to ameliorate land degradation or improve waterway.
9. “Water supply” means transporting and distributing water resources via hydraulic structures to supply water usages specified in the first paragraph of Article 18 of the Act.
10. “Pier construction” means constructing harbor or pier along the bank of waterway.
11. “Facilitating navigation” means opening waterways or digging canals by artificial means to facilitate navigation.
12. “Hydro-power development” means converting by artificial means the potential energy of water via water turbine into mechanical or electric energy.
The term “waterway” depicted in the Act refers to areas run through by rivers, lakes, reservoir storage area, drainage facility area, canal, distributary, detention pond or waterflow of diversion route.
The term “reservoir” depicted in the Act refers to weir, dam and auxiliary facilities and water storage area thereto significantly associated with use of water resources and flood control, and announced as such by the central authority-in-charge.
Reservoirs announced before the promulgation of this Rule as amended on November 12, 2018, regulations before the amendment shall still apply. The original reservoir announcement , when necessary, the central authority-in-charge may consult with the reservoir management agency (entity) and the related competent authorities to consider for abolishment in accordance with the preceding paragraph.
The term “water right holder” in the Act refers to a person granted with water right, including individual, or legal entity, agency (institution), and non-legal entity having a representative or administrator.
The term “water work proprietor” depicted in the Act refers to one of the following occasions:
1. In the case involving the construction, alteration or removal of hydraulic structures, the person who applies to the authority-in-charge for approval pursuant to the second paragraph, Article 46 of the Act before the work is completed; or the person who controls, operates, maintains or manages the water work after it is completed.
2. In the case not involving the construction, alteration or removal of hydraulic structures, the person who controls, operates, maintains or manages a water work.
3. Where the water work is constructed by the government, its proprietor is the government agency in charge before the work is completed, or the designated management agency after the work is completed.
The term “soil and stone” depicted in the Act refers to ores existing in solid-state mass as stipulated in subparagraph 1, Article 4 of Quarrying Law and Article 3 of Mining Law.
The term “water for agricultural use” depicted in the Act refers to water used by agricultural, forestry, fishery and animal husbandry industries; the term “water for industrial use” refers to water used by factories or mines for cooling, consumption or wastewater treatment; the term “water for hydro-power use” refers to water used in hydro-power generation.
Chapter 2 Water Districts and Administrations
The “alteration of waterway” depicted in Article 9 of the Act refers to alteration of river area, planned waterway remediation line, designated dike line, and the range of drainage facilities as well as changes to the vertical or cross section of waterway up to a certain extent as announced by the central authority-in-charge.
Chapter 3 Water Right
The “use of water needed by an entity” depicted in Article 17 of the Act refers to the volume of water approved by the authority-in-charge based on needs for water storage or regulation, intake, conveyance, or usage as indicated in the application of a water work proprietor or an entity that needs to access water resources; if necessary, the use of water may be determined by means of surveying.
When a single-purpose or multi-purpose water work proprietor applies for water right registration, the water yield registered for each purpose of usage shall be the use of water approved by the authority-in-charge for the water work project, unless it is otherwise agreed among different water work proprietors and approved by the authority-in-charge.
The yield of water approved for a water work project by the authority-in-charge as specified in the preceding paragraph shall not contravene Article 55 of the Act.
Where the right of a water work changes hand as a result of compulsory execution or government requisition, the transfer, change or extinguishment of the original right shall be registered according to the Act based on the purpose and content of the compulsory execution or requisition.
The authorized yield depicted in Articles 20 and 23 of the Act refers to the water yield stated in the water right deeds.
With regard to temporary water right, the authority-in-charge shall notify the applicant to apply for water right registration pursuant to Article 29 of the Act, provided the authority-in-charge determines, based on hydrological testing conducted in accordance with Article 21 of the Act, that its water source will constantly maintain a yield sufficient for use by the applicant over a certain period of time, or it will develop new water sources pursuant to Article 55 of the Act; the temporary water right is granted only when the yield constantly maintained by the water source is not sufficient to meet the demands of the applicant, but has a surplus within a certain period.
The constantly maintained yield referred to in the preceding paragraph refers to yield of surface water with flow exceedance probability of 85% or higher.
When applying for temporary right of water usage pursuant to Article 21 of the Act, the provisions for the application of water right registration apply to the qualification of the applicant, the format of application form, and the application procedure.
Entities that have obtained temporary right of water usage pursuant to Article 21 of the Act should immediately stop the usage as notified by the authority-in-charge or as requested by an interested party through the authority-in-charge when the water source is unable to maintain a constant yield over the granted duration of right.
The temporary right of water usage may be reapplied according to the provisions of the Act upon expiration if the continuing use of water is deemed necessary.
Where the authority-in-charge orders water right holders to improve their water conveying or usage technology or facilities pursuant to Article 22 of the Act or reassign water right pursuant to Article 25 of the Act, it may order the water right holder to register changes to water right within a given period. If the water right holder fails to comply accordingly, the authority-in-charge may proceed to make public announcement to the effect, cancel the original water right deed and issue a new deed.
The given period referred to in the preceding paragraph is thirty (30) days, which may be extended another thirty (30) days if the application for extension is deemed reasonable by the authority-in-charge.
The term “public utility” depicted in Article 26 of the Act refers to one of the following:
1. National defense facilities.
2. Water supply enterprises.
3. Public health.
4. Public buildings of the central or local government.
5. State-run enterprises.
6. Other enterprises run by the government for the purpose of public interest.
Chapter 4 Registration of Water Right
The term “transfer” depicted in Article 27 of the Act refers to the succession or assignment of water right and associated water work in its entirety; the term “alteration” refers to change of name, title or representative without changing the entity of water right holder as specified in subparagraph 3, Article 38 of the Act, or changes to the information stated in subparagraphs 4 ~ 14 or subparagraph 16 of Article 38 of the Act.
The “natural navigation waterway” depicted in the second paragraph, Article 27 of the Act does not include waterway that was once canalized or had construction work performed to facilitate navigation.
If the water intake point for drawing seawater lies below the average low tide level, application for water right registration provided in Article 28 of the Act is not required.
The “low-tide level” depicted in the preceding paragraph refers to the elevation of lowest water level in the ebb and flow process of ocean surface; the “average low tide level” refers to the yearlong average of the two low tide levels recorded each day.
The designated applicant for application of water right registered according to the first paragraph, Article 29 of the Act shall be the following:
1. For registration of water right acquisition, the water work proprietor or the entity that requires access to water source shall apply.
2. For registration of water right transfer or hypothecation of other rights, the water right holder and obligator shall jointly apply.。
3. For registration of water right alteration, the water right holder shall apply.
4. For registration of water right extinguishment, the water right holder shall apply.
The application for water right registration pursuant to Article 29 of the Act or for temporary right of water usage pursuant to Article 44 of the Act shall be for single source of water and single purpose of water usage.
If the application form and support documents submitted by an applicant for water right registration pursuant to Article 29 of the Act has any of the following situations, the authority-in-charge should notify the applicant to remedy the situation in fifteen (15) days following the receipt of application:
1. The information provided in the application form is unclear.
2. The support documents are incomplete.
3. The application is made by an agent but no power of attorney is provided.
4. Other nonconformities of forms.
An applicant shall make remedy in thirty days upon receiving the notice in the foregoing article or else will have his application rejected unless an extension is granted by the authority-in-charge.
The aforesaid extension is limited to once and shall not exceed thirty days.
The order of acceptance of application for water right registration as provided in Article 29 of the Act or application for temporary right of water usage as provided in Article 44 of the Act shall be determined by the actual date (year, month, day, hour) of receipt by the authority-in-charge; for applications submitted by registered mail, the date of receipt shall be the date as postmarked.
The application for water right or temporary right registration received by the authority-in-charge shall be processed by the order received. An applicant who registers the right first according to law will be granted the water right or temporary right first.
The duration of water right specified in subparagraph 2 of Article 30, subparagraph 3 of Article 35 and subparagraph 4 of Article 38 of the Act shall be three to five years for each purpose of water usage as provided in the first paragraph of Article 18 of the Act. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the duration of water right shall be two to three years for each purpose of water usage as provided in the first paragraph of Article 18 of the Act if the source of water is associated with hot spring water right.
The validity of permit for temporary use of water issued according to Article 44 of the Act shall not exceed two years each time.
The duration of water right shall be issued as applicants requested if less than the minimum duration specified in the first paragraph.
The “joint water right” depicted in Article 31 of the Act refers to the same water right acquired jointly by two or more persons.
When the authority-in-charge intends to conduct a survey pursuant to Article 33 or Article 44 of the Act, it may notify the applicant and interested parties to be present at the site of survey.
When the authority-in-charge makes public announcement pursuant to Article 34 of the Act, it should mail a copy of the announcement to the applicant and interested parties mentioned in the foregoing article by registered mail on the same day.
The written opposition filed by an interested party pursuant to Article 36 of the Act shall contain the following information:
1. The name, date of birth, residence, and ID No. of the opposer; in the case of a legal entity or organization with an administrator or a representative, its name, office or business place, and the name, date of birth, residence and ID No. of its administrator or representative.
2. Facts and grounds for opposition.
3. Title and number of evidence.
4. Date of filing.
5. Other required information.
For the purpose of reviewing the opposition filed by an interested party according to the first paragraph, Article 36 of the Act, the authority-in-charge may, if deemed necessary, dispatch personnel to meet with the interested party and the applicant to conduct survey.
The authority-in-charge shall, within thirty days after completing the survey mentioned in the foregoing article, make a decision on the opposition. If deemed necessary, the authority-in-charge may invite reviews according to Article 97 of the Act.
A water right holder that finds it necessary to have the duration of water right extended shall, in a period of sixty days starting from three months before the expiration date, apply for registration of extension. The authority-in-charge shall process extension applications that pass the aforesaid deadline as new applications.
A water right holder shall use water as stated on the water right deed in a period of the expiration of original water right and approval of extension, if the extension is applied during the duration of the forgoing paragraph.
The so-called “other simple means of drawing water” depicted in subparagraph 4, first paragraph, Article 42 of the Act does not include diverting or drawing water by mechanical power.
With regard to the issue of permit for temporary use of water by the authority-in-charge pursuant to Article 44 of the Act, the provisions for water right registration shall apply to its review, correction, survey, publication, handling of opposition, entry in temporary water use registration book, and preparation of permit.
In case the water right deed or permit for temporary use of water is damaged or lost, the water right holder or the temporary permit holder should submit an application to the authority-in-charge for replacement or reissue.
When replacing or reissuing a water right deed or temporary permit, the content of the deed or permit shall be identical to the original paper except for the date of replacement or reissue.
Chapter 5 Water Works
For the approval of hydraulic work construction, alteration or approval as provided in Article 46 of the Act, a water work proprietor shall apply to the municipal or county (city) authority-in-charge at where the base of the hydraulic structure is located; if the hydraulic structure has any of the following conditions, the water work proprietor shall apply to the central authority-in-charge:
1. The base involves two or more municipalities and/or counties (cities).
2. The base involves the river area, range of drainage facilities, sea embankment area or reservoir storage area under the jurisdiction of the central government.
3. The hydraulic structure is a major public work.
The central authority-in-charge will set forth rules for work completion inspection, issue of permit, and procedure for entry into the hydraulic structure registry involving hydraulic structure granted approval by the authority-in-charge pursuant to Article 46 of the Act.
An applicant shall report the date of work commencement for a hydraulic structure to the authority-in-charge prior to commencing the work.
For the registration of water right concerning a multi-purpose water work mentioned in the second paragraph, Article 53 of the Act, all right holders shall enter a water use agreement and elect one among them as the general representative to apply for the water yield of individual right holders and the collective registration of water right.
When issuing water right deeds, the authority-in-charge should simultaneously issue deeds to individual right holders and the general representative, and note in the name field of the deed the name of individual right holder and the name of general representative, and in the “other items” field of the deed, the water yield approved for said right holder.
Where a multi-purpose water work mentioned in the first paragraph hereof is initiated by the authority-in-charge, the agency in charge or the agency designated to manage the water work shall be the general representative for the purpose of water right registration.
The right holder in the first paragraph hereof refers to an individual, or legal entity, agency, and non-legal entity having a representative or administrator that has existing water right to certain water yield but will take water from the multi-purpose water work concerned or that shares the development expenses of water work concerned.
Where the right holders in the first paragraph hereof fail to elect a general representative, the authority-in-charge will appoint one among them as general representative.
When a municipal or county (city) authority-in-charge determines that a water work under application has the value of multi-purpose development, it should report to the central authority-in-charge to handle the application according to Article 54 of the Act.
When an enterprise undergoes construction or expansion work and its planned water consumption reaches certain level, the government agency in charge of the enterprise may ask the authority-in-charge to examine and approve the proposed water consumption plan prior to approving the construction or expansion plan of the enterprise.
To prevent undersupply of water, water users should be capable of storing proper amount of water, and adopt water conservation and proper response measures to minimize the impact brought about by disruption of water supply.
Chapter 6 Water Storage and Drainage
The “flood” depicted in Article 64 of the Act refers to inundation and pooling of water; “inundation” is defined as an overflowing of water in the waterway that surpasses the possible accommodation and discharge limits of waterway and suffices to spill over and cause disaster; “pooling of water” is defined as a body of standing water on ground surface from rain or melted snow and enough to cause damages of flood submergence.
The “distributary” depicted in Article 64 of the Act refers to another waterway constructed to divert the overflow in certain section of the main channel and merge the diverted flow back into the main channel at a proper downstream location or discharge the diverted flow into a lake or ocean, or store it temporarily in a low-lying area.
The “newly constructed waterways” depicted in Article 64 of the Act refers to new waterways constructed to divert or discharge water for the purpose of flood control; a waterway that is also used for navigation is regarded as a canal.
Water that flows into the waterway system after being used by the original water right holder may be reutilized by the same water right holder or others. However the water user shall register his water right according to the Act.
The “land likely to be flooded” depicted in Article 69-1 of the Act refers to water storage area reached by the maximum flood level designed for the reservoir and by its backwater, the land on which important facilities of the reservoir are built, and the protection belt of reservoir.
The reservoir proprietor or its manager will draw up the rules and procedures for storage and utilization of water, flood control operation, emergency measures and reservoir operational procedures and submit them to the authority-in-charge for approval and public announcement.
For reservoirs equipped with floodgate, the maximum outflow at the water level rising section during the flood period shall not be greater than the maximum inflow into the reservoir; the increment of discharge flow of reservoir shall not surpass the maximum increment of inflow. However when there is concern over reservoir safety, the flood control operation and emergency measures provided in the foregoing article may prevail.
The “outflow” in the preceding paragraph is the discharge flow after the regulation of after bay or equivalent facilities at downstream of reservoir, if any.
Chapter 7 Waterway Protection
The “water level” depicted in the first paragraph, Article 74 of the Act refers to the alert levels classified and announced by the authority-in-charge.
The “scope of waterway protection” depicted in the first paragraph, Article 75 of the Act refers to river area, range of drainage facilities or areas reached by the flow of waterway.
The “emergency measure for flood control” depicted in the first paragraph, Article 76 of the Act applies to the period of torrential rain alert or typhoon alert announced by the Central Weather Bureau.
The agency in charge of flood control as provided in Article 77 of the Act shall keep the authority-in-charge informed of the water level everyday during the flood control season; when the flood water rises, the agency shall immediately circulate the water level information to relevant agencies and provide the authority-in-charge with a summary of the river sections with flood control works in place, the status of construction, and flood situation; after the flood control facilities are removed, the agency shall prepare a report on the course of flood control and submit it to the authority-in-charge for reference.
The “area between a dike and river banks” depicted in Article 80 of the Act refers to the area between the dike line on the water side of the dike and the line on the water side of the river bank.
The “sandbank or beach of a waterway” depicted in Article 81 of the Act refers to an area with access prohibited or restricted due to obstruction of water flow or flood control, including swamp, reclaimed land and delta at estuary, and designated flood discharge area.
The “line of waterway management plan” depicted in Article 82 of the Act refers to the water-side dike shoulder lines or lines bordering the width of water surface under the waterway management plan; the “designated dike line” refers to the line starting from the outer dike line, including the boundary lines of dike foundation, flood barrier roads, land reserved for maintenance and repair, and land for safety control.
The “normal flood submerge level” depicted in Article 83 of the Act refers to the flood level corresponding to the runoff peak flow with two-year return period？; the “areas under normal flood submerge level” refers to areas covering the land-adjoining side of two banks facing the normal flood submerge level plus a certain area.
Chapter 8 Water Conservancy Fund
The “water right fees” depicted in the first paragraph, Article 84 of the Act refers to fees levied on water right holders; the “river construction fees” refers to fees levied on passing ships and boats on a quarterly or per time basis; the “flood control beneficiary fees” refers to fees levied on beneficiaries of flood control works on an installment basis.
The “river construction fees” in the preceding paragraph does not include lockage fees of canalized waterway; the “flood control beneficiary fees” includes the construction and maintenance costs of the flood control work.
The “water right fees” in subparagraph 1, first paragraph of Article 84 will be collected by the authority-in-charge of water right registration under Article 28 of the Act.
The fund designated for water work constructions mentioned in the second paragraph, Article 84 of the Act refers to fund expended exclusively for the construction, maintenance, and management of hydraulic facilities, as well as the research and development of water works, including survey and testing, research planning, design and construction, scholarship, grant, manpower cultivation, and instrument manufacture.
The “supply of water” depicted in Article 85 of the Act refers to water yield stated in the water right deeds.
The water right fees levied according to Article 85 of the Act will be collected according to the water yield stated in the original water right deeds if the registration of right extension, alteration or extinguishment is not carried out or if the registration is not completed during the levy period; after the registration is completed, water right fees will be levied according to the new registration record.
The districts subject to flood control beneficiary fees depicted in Article 88 of the Act refer to districts protected by the construction and maintenance of flood control works.
Chapter 9 Supplemental Provisions
The central authority-in-charge will prescribe the formats for the documents, charts, figures and forms stipulated in the Act and the Rules herein.
The Rules herein shall be in force on the date of promulgation.
The English translation is for reference only. In case of discrepancy between the Chinese and English versions, the Chinese version shall prevail.