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City Speak XII - Water We Drink: LT Ma of Water Supplies Department



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Where does the water we drink come from? Is there enough for everyone? Where will it come from?

Hong Kong's water supply comes from two sources: the rainfall we collect in our reservoirs (20-30%) and water we buy from the Mainland (70-80%). The current agreement for water from the Dongjiang, a tributary of the Pearl River, will expire in 2015. With demand for water growing sharply throughout the Pearl River Delta and the supply of water compromised by pollution and climate change, Hong Kong's future access to clean water is far from certain.

In our drive to become a sustainable city, should Hong Kong become self-sufficient? Should we increase the size of our reservoirs? Follow Singapore and recycle our waste water? Build plants to desalinate seawater? What other possible methods are there? Who's going to pay?

CitySpeak invites you to join Hong Kong officials, academics and planners in this discussion about our water issues.

The keynote speaker is Mr. LT Ma, Director of the Water Supplies Department, who will set the scene and outline the current situation in Hong Kong. The discussion will be moderated by Mr. Mike Kilburn, Environmental Programme Manager, Civic Exchange.

Background reading
"Liquid Assets -- Water security and management in the Pearl River Basin and Hong Kong" by Civic Exchange, November 2009 ( For more information about water in China, visit Civic Exchange is a Hong Kong independent non-profit think tank. See:

Designing Hong Kong is a not-for-profit organisation focused on sustainable urban planning. See:

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City Speak XII - Water We Drink: LT Ma of Water Supplies Department

  1. 1. CitySpeak : The Water We Drink Water Supplies in Hong Kong Presented by LT MA Director, Water Supplies Department The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administration Region 15 May 2010
  2. 2. Basic Information <ul><li>Area: approximate 1,100 km 2 </li></ul><ul><li>Population: approximate 7million </li></ul><ul><li>Climate: Subtropical </li></ul><ul><li>Rainy seasons: April – September </li></ul><ul><li>Average annual rainfall: 2,380 mm </li></ul><ul><li>Fresh water consumption in 2009 : 952 million cubic metres (mcm) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Current Water Supply Arrangement <ul><li>Dongjiang (DJ) water : 70% – 80% of demand </li></ul><ul><li>Local yield : 20% – 30% of demand </li></ul><ul><li>Ultimate DJ supply arrangement of 1,100 mcm per annum can meet the demand in the next 20 years or more </li></ul>
  4. 4. Per Capita Consumption Source : Liquid Assets, Civic Exchange Source: Amsterdam/Netherlands & Sydney/Australia - Brochure on International Statistics for Water Services by the International Water Association Specialist Group on Statistics and Economics (2008) New York/USA - New York City 2008 Drinking Water Supply and Quality Report Los Angeles/USA – Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (2007-08)
  5. 5. Per Capita Consumption (2) Note : There is room for reduction in per capita consumption in Hong Kong.
  6. 6. Hong Kong’s Water Supply History Year No. of Days with Full Supply 365 273 182 91 0 1939 1934 1946 1950 1955 2000 1965 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 1970 1960 2005 War Time (No Records) 1935 2009
  7. 7. Supply of DJ Water to Hong Kong <ul><li>1960 first agreement – delivering 22.7 million cubic metres (mcm) from Shenzhen Reservoir </li></ul><ul><li>8 agreements up to now – Signed in 1960, 1964, 1978, 1987, 1989, 1998, 2006 and 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>2006 and 2008 agreements adopted the package deal lump sum approach – no pre-determined supply quantity subject to annual ceiling of 820 mcm </li></ul><ul><li>Ultimate supply quantity = 1,100 mcm </li></ul>
  8. 8. Supply of DJ Water To Hong Kong <ul><li>1963 severe drought in GD and HK </li></ul><ul><li>GD Provincial government allowed HK to take water from Pearl River Outlet by tankers </li></ul><ul><li>GD Province agreed to construct the Dongshen Water Supply Scheme for transferring water from DJ to HK </li></ul><ul><li>Premier ZHOU Enlai endorsed the project in 1963 </li></ul><ul><li>Raw water began to supply to HK in March 1965 </li></ul>
  9. 9. Supply of DJ Water To Hong Kong Source : Commemorative publications on the Dongshen Water Supply Improvement Project
  10. 10. Guangdong Province Dongjiang Basin Water Resource Distribution Plan <ul><li>Promulgated in 2008 by GD Provincial government </li></ul><ul><li>Distribution principle – fairness, sustainability in development and utilisation, conservation and protection, prioritised potable and ecological uses, dual control covering both water quantity and quality </li></ul><ul><li>8 cities covered – Guangzhou (part), Shenzhen, Shaoguan (part), Meizhou (part), Heyuan, Huizhou, Dongguan, HK </li></ul>
  11. 11. Guangdong Province Dongjiang Basin Water Resource Distribution Plan <ul><li>DJ average annual flow amount – 32,660 mcm </li></ul><ul><li>Distribution Limit – 10,664 mcm (32.7%) </li></ul><ul><li>HK’s share – 1,100 mcm (3.4%) </li></ul><ul><li>Area of DJ basin – 35,340 km 2 </li></ul><ul><li>Mainly served – Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Heyuan, Huizhou, Dongguan and HK </li></ul><ul><li>Total population served – about 40 million (including HK) </li></ul>
  12. 12. Guangdong Province Dongjiang Basin Water Resource Distribution Plan 10,664 Total 1,100 Hong Kong 1,663 Shenzhen 1,362 Guangzhou 2,095 Dongguan 2,533 Huizhou 122 Shaoguan 1,763 Heyuan 26 Meizhou (million cubic metres)   Distributed quantity   Normal Year Region
  13. 13. Water quality monitoring <ul><li>The quality complies with the national “Environmental Quality Standards for Surface Water, GB3838-2002” set out for Type II water </li></ul><ul><li>Continuous on-line monitoring at Muk Wu Pumping Station </li></ul><ul><li>Regular on-site sampling and monitoring </li></ul><ul><li>Regular exchange of monitoring information </li></ul><ul><li>Regular publishing of monitoring data at WSD web site </li></ul>
  14. 14. GD Province’s commitment <ul><li>Enactment of the new “GD Province DJ, Xijiang, Beijiang, Hanjiang Basins Water Resource Management Regulation” in 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Implementation of the DJ Water Quantity and Quality Monitoring and Control System for completion in 2011 </li></ul><ul><li>Enhancement of regulation plan for the 3 large reservoirs of DJ Basin – Xinfengjiang, Fengshuba and Baipenzhu </li></ul><ul><li>Strengthening of administrative measures for protection of water resource in DJ Basin </li></ul>
  15. 15. Drought in 1963 – Most Severe in Last Century
  16. 16. Effect of Climate Change in the 21 st Century <ul><li>Effect of climate change  UNCERTAIN AT THIS STAGE </li></ul><ul><li>Frequency of drought is forecast to increase in the 21 st century (1) </li></ul><ul><li>Response to Climate Change – Total Water Management </li></ul>(1) Source : T.C. Lee, W.H. Leung & E.W.L. Ginn (2009). “Rainfall Projections for Hong Kong based on the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report&quot;. Hong Kong Meteorological Society
  17. 17. Total Water Management (TWM) <ul><li>We implement TWM to better prepare Hong Kong for the uncertainties of climate change </li></ul><ul><li>TWM is a concept for managing water resources in all aspects </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In addition, it will enhance Hong Kong’s role as a good partner with other cities in PRD in promoting sustainable use of water resources </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. TWM Strategy <ul><li>The TWM Strategy is to manage water demand and supply in an integrated, multi-sectoral and sustainable manner </li></ul><ul><li>The TWM Strategy: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Put emphasis on containing growth of water demand through conservation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strengthen water supply management </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Water Conservation Activities Water Conservation Starts from Home Campaign
  20. 20. Water Conservation Activities Press Briefing on School Water Audit
  21. 21. Water Conservation Activities School Water Audit
  22. 22. Water Conservation Activities Dow Live Earth Run for Water Hong Kong
  23. 23. Water Conservation Activities City Millenium Dream 2010 - Water Saviour
  24. 24. Water Conservation Activities Press Briefing on “Twin Tank Water Supply System” and “Quality Water Recognition Scheme for Buildings”
  25. 25. Total Water Management strategy <ul><li>Water Demand Measures </li></ul><ul><li>Enhance public education on water conservation </li></ul><ul><li>Promote use of water saving device </li></ul><ul><li>Enhance water leakage control </li></ul><ul><li>Extend use of seawater for toilet flushing </li></ul>2. Total Water Management for Hong Kong
  26. 26. Total Water Management strategy <ul><li>Water Supply Measures </li></ul><ul><li>Strengthen protection of water resources </li></ul><ul><li>Actively consider water reclamation </li></ul><ul><li>Develop the option of seawater desalination </li></ul>Ngong Ping Sewage Treatment Works Pilot Desalination Plant at Ap Lei Chau (already demolished) 2. Total Water Management for Hong Kong
  27. 27. Continuous Monitoring and Review <ul><li>The TWM Strategy will form the foundation for future review </li></ul><ul><li>Continuous monitoring of the state of water demand and supply in Hong Kong </li></ul><ul><li>Initiate new measures to meet challenges and optimise utilization and development of water resources </li></ul>
  28. 28. Thank You