To promote low carbon construction, carbon reduction and the use of recycled materials in public works projects, we will introduce measures including the use of electric vehicles in works projects, using biodiesel as fuel for construction machineries in selected construction sites, promoting the adoption of green site offices, and conducting trials on the use of waste glass as engineering fill materials in site formation, backfilling and reclamation projects.
Total Water Management Strategy
We promulgated the total water management (TWM) strategy in 2008 which mapped out a long-term strategy covering two limbs viz. reduce water demand and exploit new water resources, for a balanced demand and supply of water resources to support the sustainable development of Hong Kong.
On reducing water demand, we have stepped up the effort to further promote water conservation and reduce water loss. Apart from running the temporary Water Resources Education Centre to enhance the younger generation’s knowledge of water resources and water conservation, we have set up a Mobile Showroom and conducted roving exhibitions regularly in different districts to strengthen the public awareness and knowledge of water conservation. We will extend the voluntary “Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme” in 2014 to cover flow controllers in addition to showers for bathing, water taps, washing machines and urinal equipment. We will also uplift our plan to promote water conservation to both domestic consumers through the “Let’s Save 10L Water” campaign4 and commercial consumers through developing best water using practices for the trades.
We have achieved promising results in reducing water mains bursts and leaks through the water mains replacement and rehabilitation (R&R) programme. The number of water mains bursts has reduced from 1 066 in 2009 to about 260 in 2013 whereas the water mains leakage rate has reduced from 21% in 2009 to 17% in 2013. We will carry on the implementation of the water mains R&R programme with a view to completing the programme by 2015 when the water leakage rate is expected to further reduce to 15%. We will put our focus not only on R&R but also on water pressure management and district monitoring to the water mains network so as to enhance efficiency in water loss control and management of the water mains network. To combat unlawful taking of water, we will step up our effort to increase the number of inspections and prosecutions and to conduct various publicity and education events.
In regard to exploiting new water resources to meet the challenges arising from climate change and continued growth in population, we are exploring some new water resources which are insensitive to climate change, such as seawater desalination and water reclamation. On the former, we are continuing our study on the feasibility and cost effectiveness of setting up a seawater desalination plant at Tseung Kwan O and formulation of the implementation strategy and programme. The study is scheduled for completion in early 2015. On water reclamation, we will commence the study on supplying reclaimed water to the north-eastern part of the NT including Sheung Shui, Fanling and the NDAs for toilet flushing and other non-potable uses. We are also exploring wider use of grey water and rainwater harvesting in government new projects.
We plan to engage consultants to review the water management measures implemented under the current TWM Strategy, including measures to reduce reservoir overflow. The review results, taking account of a number of factors including latest population growth and effects of climate change, will be used to formulate a long-term water management strategy up to 2040 with an aim to ensuring sustainable use of our precious water resources and timely introduction of new initiatives to strengthen our resilience and preparedness against uncertainties and challenges.
4 The campaign is to encourage domestic consumers to save 10-litres fresh water consumption per capita per day.
Greening, Landscape and Tree Management
We continue to promote sustainable development on quality greening in a highly urbanised living environment. Since 2004, the development and implementation of Greening Master Plan for urban areas have brought about noticeable improvement in the greenery of our cityscape. To continue the Government’s effort on greening and sustainable development, we will commence by phases the implementation of greening measures as recommended in the Greening Master Plans for the NT.
In 2013, technical circulars were issued on planting on footbridges and flyovers and tree preservation to enhance quality greening and tree management.
On the promotion on the use of greening technology such as skyrise greenery, the Greening and Landscape Office has promulgated the “Pictorial Guide to Plant Resources for Skyrise Greenery in Hong Kong”. This is the first of its kind with specific data on the application of plant materials for skyrise greenery in the local context, through which we aim to facilitate proper plant selection and promote the principle of “Right Plant for the Right Place”. The “Tree and Landscape Map” has been launched with smart phone apps to facilitate the public to gain easy access to information of the Map series and to promote their appreciation of trees and green spaces in various districts in Hong Kong.
The Tree Management Office (TMO) will continue to enhance tree risk assessment arrangement with priority on areas with high pedestrian and vehicular flow. Detailed guidelines were promulgated and refined regularly for compliance by tree management departments. Other key areas of our work include raising the professional standard of tree management through training; developing guidelines including that of the management of stonewall trees, pavement renovation works and tree stability; building up an inventory of trees; promoting public education and community involvement; enhancing the care of Old and Valuable Trees and the emergency response system on tree cases.
The complaint handling mechanism of tree related cases has been enhanced through the strengthening of coordination of the TMO and tree management departments.
To enhance a professional approach in tree management, the TMO has been conducting the research studies on Common Wood Decay Fungi, Wood Strength Assessment for Common Tree Species and the evaluation of Trichoderma species as a biological control agent against Brown Root Rot disease infected trees. The TMO will also strengthen the management strategy of Brown Root Rot disease so as to better protect the tree population from the disease.
We have been promoting public participation in quality greening and proper tree care. By involving the community, we not only aim to foster a culture of love, appreciation and care for our green environment, but also to nurture a sense of ownership. To this end, we will continue the “Be Our Greening Partner” Campaign by engaging greening partners from all walks of life, organising promotion activities for the Campaign, and joining efforts of the community in achieving quality greening and tree management. One of the key events will be the launching of “Our Favourite Old and Valuable Trees” programme with collaboration with experts in the field, professional groups and the general public.
We have made good progress with a number of initiatives on heritage conservation –
5 This figure includes items on the list of 1 444 historic buildings in the territory for which a public consultation exercise on their proposed grading was carried out from March to September 2009 as well as 202 new items proposed for grading as announced in February 2013.
6 AAB will flexibly advance its discussion on the grading of the new items if there is cogent need for an early assessment.
In the past year, the Commissioner for Heritage’s Office organised a series of public education programmes and activities to encourage wider participation by different community groups in heritage conservation. For instance, the King Yin Lei Open Days were held in April, from June to August and from October to December 2013 which attracted 24 283 visitors; the “New Life @ Heritage” Exhibition and the Roving Exhibition on Batch I of the Revitalisation Scheme were held at the airport from June to December 2013 and eight locations from July to December 2013 respectively featuring the six revitalised historic buildings under Batch I of the Revitalisation Scheme, attracting 161 480 and 75 887 visitors respectively; the “Heritage Fiesta 2013” featuring historic school buildings was held from September to October 2013 which attracted 48 000 visitors; the “International Conference on Heritage Conservation 2013 - Latest Movements in Heritage Conservation: Global Vision and Local Outlook” was co-organised with the Architectural Conservation Programmes of the Department of Architecture of the University of Hong Kong in November 2013, attracting over 300 attendees from the industry; and a bimonthly newsletter “活化@Heritage” featuring heritage issues and the work of the Commissioner for Heritage’s Office was published since June 2008 with over 400 000 printed copies distributed by the end of 2013.
Landslip Prevention and Mitigation Programme
We will continue the Landslip Prevention and Mitigation Programme to upgrade and landscape government man-made slopes, mitigate the landslide risk of natural terrain with known hazards, and conduct safety screening studies for private slopes. We will also continue our efforts on public education on slope safety including enhancing the emergency preparedness of the public.
We have been reviewing the Drainage Master Plans (DMP) for various districts with a view to assessing their flood risks and proposing improvement measures. The reviews of the DMP for East Kowloon and West Kowloon are in progress whereas the reviews of the DMP for Sha Tin, Tai Po and Sai Kung are underway since early 2013. We also commenced the River Flood Risk Study in 2013 to assess the flood risk levels of rivers in rural catchment areas, and develop flood warning systems and mitigation measures for flood-prone rivers to enhance the protection of people living along the rivers against flood risk. For drainage improvement projects, all the three drainage tunnels in Hong Kong Island West, Lai Chi Kok and Tsuen Wan have been commissioned. The construction of the stormwater drains in Wan Chai, Central and Western districts, the stormwater culvert along Tung Tsz Road in Shuen Wan, Tai Po and the underground stormwater storage tank in Happy Valley is in good progress.
Decking and Landscaping of Nullah
We will continue the programme to complete the decking and/or landscaping of 16 sections of nullahs to improve the living environment. Fourteen sections have been completed already and the remaining two sections (Kai Tak Nullah and Staunton Creek Nullah) will be completed in stages from 2015 onwards. Furthermore, we will continue the design of the improvement works for the Yuen Long Town Centre Nullah to enhance its local environment quality and ecological value.