Development of Desalination
We have largely completed the planning and investigation study for the construction of a seawater desalination plant in Tseung Kwan O. The findings confirm that it is feasible to establish the desalination plant. We plan to commence the detailed design for the plant and associated waterworks infrastructure in stages in 2015. The desalination plant is targeted for commissioning in 2020 with an annual output of 50 million cubic metres (mcm) with provision for expansion to 100 mcm.
Water Intelligent Networks
Riding on technological advancement in sensors and data analysis in recent years, the WSD will study and progressively establish the “Water Intelligent Networks” by installing sensors in the underground water supply networks. Through the analysis of data collected from the sensors, the health conditions of the water supply networks will be monitored continuously and effective measures, such as pressure management and proactive leakage detection for early identification of pipes needing repair or replacement to reduce water loss and pipe bursts, can be devised and implemented.
Revitalising Nullahs and River Channels
We will apply the concept of revitalising water bodies to nullahs and river channels when carrying out large-scale drainage improvement works and drainage planning for new development areas. We aim at promoting greening, biodiversity, beautification, and water friendliness in addition to achieving efficient drainage, with a view to building sustainable drainage facilities and providing a better environment for people. In the completed Ho Chung River widening project, ecological features have been incorporated to achieve biodiversity and environment beautification with satisfactory outcome. We will commission a consultancy study for developing more practical options for revitalising water bodies.
Total Water Management Strategy
To brace Hong Kong for challenges of climate change and continuing population and economic growth, we have put forth a host of water demand and supply management measures since the promulgation of the Total Water Management (TWM) strategy in 2008. In October 2014, we commenced a further consultancy study to review and update the TWM strategy. Through the new study, we aim to evaluate the effectiveness of the current measures, forecast the long-term water demand and supply up to 2040, and identify new initiatives to strengthen our resilience and preparedness against uncertainties and challenges.
On water demand management, we will continue to implement measures to enhance the promotion of water conservation in domestic and non-domestic sectors. For the domestic sector, in tandem with educational and promotional programmes for schools and communities, we have been providing flow controllers to households under the “Let’s Save 10L Water” campaign3 which received overwhelming response. We have increased the target number of households issued with flow controllers from 30 000 to 120 000. We will also continue a project starting from August 2014 to install flow controllers for selected public housing estates with an overall target of 25 000 households. Similarly, for the non-domestic sector, we are installing flow controllers in 8 000 government buildings and schools. We are also developing best water using practices for selected government facilities such as public swimming pools and parks, and trades of high water consumption such as catering, hotels and laundries. In addition to extending the coverage of “Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme” in August 2014, we plan to study the inclusion of dual flush water closets in the scheme later this year.
To reduce water loss, we have replaced or rehabilitated about 2 670 km aged water mains up to end 2014 out of the 3 000 km water mains selected under the water mains replacement and rehabilitation (R&R) programme. The number of water mains bursts has been reduced from 1 066 in 2009 to 257 in 2013, and about 170 in 2014, and the water mains leakage rate reduced from 21% in 2009 to 17% in 2013 and about 16% in 2014. With the R&R programme planned for completion in 2015, the water mains leakage rate is expected to be further reduced to 15%.
On developing new water sources, we have been focusing our effort to develop new sources that are not affected by climate change. In addition to development of seawater desalination as mentioned in paragraph 76 above, we have started the planning work and investigation study on supplying reclaimed water to the northeastern part of the NT (including Sheung Shui and Fanling) for toilet flushing and other non-potable uses. We are also working on a plan to promote wider use of grey water recycling and rainwater harvesting systems under suitable new government projects. In the long term, Hong Kong will be supported by six different sources of water supply, including local water, imported water from Dongjiang, seawater for flushing, seawater desalination, water reclamation and grey water recycling/rainwater harvesting.
3 The campaign is to encourage domestic consumers to save 10-litres fresh water consumption per capita per day.
To promote low carbon construction, emission reduction and the use of recycled materials in public works projects, we will continue to implement measures including promoting the use of electric vehicles in works projects, using biodiesel as fuel for construction machineries in construction sites, adopting green site offices, and continuing the trials on the use of waste glass as fill materials in site formation, backfilling and reclamation.
Greening, Landscape and Tree Management
We continue to promote sustainable development on quality greening in a highly urbanised living environment. The development and implementation of Greening Master Plans 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, the Greening Master Plans for the NT are being implemented by phases.
On the promotion of the wider application of skyrise greenery, we have promulgated a user friendly e-version of “Pictorial Guide to Plant Resources for Skyrise Greenery in Hong Kong”. This Pictorial Guide provides specific data on the use 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”. We will enhance the content and user friendliness of the “Tree and Landscape Map” smart phone apps in 2015. Our aim is 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. Other key areas of our work include raising the professional standard of tree management through training; developing guidelines including that on tree transplanting, yard waste reduction and treatment; 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 facilitate private property owners in properly managing trees in their properties, we are collaborating with private property owners and management companies to engage professional contractors to inspect trees in their properties and carry out appropriate risk mitigation measures as required to protect public safety. Information on proper tree maintenance has been promoted through the Trees website (trees.gov.hk), leaflets, videos, etc. The TMO will continue to organise seminars on tree maintenance for private property owners, property managers and the general public every year. The TMO publicises the responsibility for and the importance of tree maintenance, and encourage the public to report on problematic trees.
To enhance a professional approach in tree management, the TMO has been conducting research studies on the evaluation of Trichoderma species as a biological control agent against Brown Root Rot disease infected trees and field trials on the feasibility of using Trichoderma species to rehabilitate Phellinus noxius contaminated sites causing brown root rot disease on trees. The TMO will continue to 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. In 2014, we launched and successfully completed “Our Favourite Old and Valuable Trees” programme with collaboration with experts in the field, professional groups and the participation of general public. In 2015, one of the key events will be the launching of “Tree Care Partner” programme. We have started a pilot scheme in some schools and we will extend the programme to more schools and other organisations so as to engage public in community surveillance of trees in their neighbourhood.
We have made good progress with a number of initiatives on heritage conservation –
4 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.
5 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 of the DEVB had organised a series of public education programmes and activities to encourage community participation in heritage conservation. For instance, the “New Life @ Heritage” Exhibition featuring six revitalised historic buildings under Batch I of the Revitalisation Scheme at the Hong Kong International Airport from January to June 2014, had attracted 37 120 visitors; “The Master Class Distinguished Lecture Series”, jointly organised with the Antiquities and Monuments Office, Architectural Conservation Programme of The University of Hong Kong (HKU), HKU SPACE and the Construction Industry Council (CIC) from January to March 2014 had attracted some 780 attendees; “Roving Exhibition on the Conservation of Built Heritage”, which was held at eight locations from March to May 2014 to enhance public awareness and understanding of the heritage conservation work in Hong Kong had attracted around 100 000 visitors; roving photo exhibitions on “TIMELESS archiCULTURE – UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation: 14 award-winning projects of Hong Kong”, which was held at nine locations from June to December 2014 introducing the 14 conservation projects in Hong Kong that have won the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation, had attracted around 139 115 visitors; “Heritage Fiesta 2014” cum photo exhibition featuring churches and temples was held from October to November 2014, during which 22 churches and temples were open for public visit had attracted over 53 000 visitors; 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.
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 to cope with new developments and the impact of climate change. The reviews of the DMPs for Yuen Long, North District and Happy Valley have been completed whereas those for East Kowloon, West Kowloon, Sha Tin, Tai Po, Sai Kung and Northern Hong Kong Island are in progress. We are also conducting a River Flood Risk Study aiming to draw up follow-up measures including flood warning systems and mitigation measures for flood-prone rivers in order to enhance the protection of the residents near these rivers. We will continue to implement projects to improve the drainage systems including the construction of an underground stormwater storage tank in Happy Valley which is in good progress for completion in stages from 2015 onwards.
Landscaping of Nullah
We will continue the design of the improvement works for the Yuen Long Town Centre Nullah to enhance the local environment quality and its ecological value.