Hong Kong strives for sustainable management of water resources

Jun 30, 2009

Hong Kong would spare no effort in conserving precious water resources through implementing a management strategy comprising conservation, recycling and development of alternative water resources, the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, said in Singapore today (June 22).

Mrs Lam was addressing the 7th Ministers' Forum on Infrastructure Development in the Asia Pacific Region hosted by the Singapore Government. The forum, initiated by Japan in 1995, aims to provide ministers and senior officials with a unique international platform to discuss development strategies and policies, exchange views and share experiences in infrastructure development in the Asia Pacific region.

Mrs Lam said Hong Kong had been enjoying a secure, stable and worry-free supply of water from the Dongjiang River in Guangdong Province, which was capable of meeting 70% to 80% of Hong Kong's raw water supply as well as an ultimate supply of 1,100 million cubic metres which would meet the projected demand up to 2030.

"Despite the assured supply of water from the Mainland, Hong Kong has a duty and an obligation to contribute to water conservation in the region. In aspiring for sustainable development, the Total Water Management Strategy was promulgated recently to better prepare Hong Kong for uncertainties such as acute climate changes and low rainfall, and enhance our role as a good partner to other municipalities in the Pearl River Delta in promoting sustainable use of water in the light of the rapid growth of water demand in the region," Mrs Lam said.

On Hong Kong's water supply infrastructure, Mrs Lam said that a programme was in place to replace or rehabilitate almost 40% of the existing 7,800km of water mains, due to be completed by 2015, and to modernise water treatment works by adopting ozonisation and membrane technology in treatment plants, and by instituting further automation to enhance monitoring and control.

Steps have been taken to develop the option of seawater desalination using osmosis technology, while pilot schemes for water reclamation are on trial at locations where provision of seawater for flushing is not economical. The Government will also conduct trial schemes of grey water re-use and rainwater harvesting for some new public work projects, including the new Central Government Office complex at Tamar.

Mrs Lam also introduced to the ministers Hong Kong's 10 major infrastructure projects, many of which would help to enhance co-operation with the Mainland. She emphasised that the Government was determined to strike the needed balance between infrastructure development and public aspirations for heritage conservation, a quality living environment and sustainable development.

The forum today endorsed Japan as the host of the 8th Ministers' Forum in 2010, while Hong Kong will host the 9th forum in 2011. Mrs. Lam thanked all the ministers for their support.

On her arrival yesterday, Mrs Lam visited Marina Barrage, a dam built across the mouth of Marina Channel to create Singapore's 15th reservoir, Marina Reservoir. The Marina Barrage is part of a comprehensive flood control scheme to alleviate flooding in low-lying areas of the city. It is also a popular spot for recreational water activities.

Mrs Lam visited a private company this morning to learn about the latest technology for water purification and fluid treatment. She also attended the opening ceremony of Singapore International Water Week 2009 this evening, which will be held alongside the forum from June 22 to 26.

Also attending the forum are the Permanent Secretary for Development (Works), Mr Mak Chai-kwong, and the Director of Water Supplies, Mr Ma Lee-tak.

Mrs Lam will return to Hong Kong tomorrow (June 23).


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