Sustainable water supply in Hong Kong

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Sustainable water supply in Hong Kong


Author: Luk, Shiu-fai
Title: Sustainable water supply in Hong Kong
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2002
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Water-supply -- China -- Hong Kong
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Dept. of Civil and Structural Engineering
Pages: xi, 231 p. : ill. (chiefly col.), col. maps ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: Hong Kong is a city in Asia. There are almost 7 million of people living on the land of 1097 km2. Due to a lack of fresh water resources, the water supply in Hong Kong has always been a headache problem to the local government. By 2029, it is expected that the population may reach to 9 million. The existing infrastructure and resources are not possible to meet the demand and to support the city's growth. Solutions are needed with a sustainable approach such that there will be no adverse impacts on the future development. In the present work, the water supply in Hong Kong has been reviewed. At the early time, the problem was tackled with increasing the storage and treatment capacity but rapid population growth let the government finally recognize that it was unrealistic to meet the demand with local water resources solely. Then, the problem was finally solved by importing water from Dongjiang River (East River) in Mainland China. Singapore is an island country in South East Asia and has similar water supply situation as Hong Kong, i.e. insufficient fresh water resources but is required to support a huge population. Fresh water over there has to be imported from Johor in Malaysia. The strategy of water management in Singapore is different from Hong Kong that emphases are placed on the leakage control, water conservation, efficiency of water utilities board and tapping new water sources, which are noteworthy if they are suitable to be implemented in Hong Kong. The objective of this work is to identify and analyse the problems and then recommend the possible solutions in ensuring the sustainable water supply in Hong Kong in 2029. The insufficient water resources, a high leakage rate, the conflicts with urbanization, inferior raw water quality and the high operation cost of the water authority are identified in the dissertation as culprits for the sustainable water supply. To remove these impediments, a holistic approach is needed to sustain the reliable water supply. In general, price raising can be an effective control on water demand. Based on the data from Singapore, calculation carried out in the studies shows that in Hong Kong there is less room for further reduction of water consumption and, therefore the strategy of water pricing may not he an effective tool in Hong Kong. Potable water, urban runoff, and rainfall samples were collected and analysed. The results indicated that urban runoff is a possible new local water source for potable use. Other than severe leakage control, abstraction from unproteded catchment (i.e. flood pumping and urban runoff) should be extensively carried out. Water reuse for potable and non-potable purposes as well as the desalination should also be promoted, as they are reliable water sources that the yields are not affected by weather. To improve the water quality, close monitoring of the water quality, upgrading of treatment technology, expanding the sewerage coverage in the New Territories, cross border co-operation and improving the sewage treatment facilities in the mainland are the solutions to prevent the local and Dongjiang raw water quality deterioration. To deal with the deficit in recent years, instead of privatisation, corporatization of the Water Supplies Department and merging with Drainage Services Department are recommended.

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