Dedicated Fund for Conservation of Built Heritage
As recommended by the Antiquities Advisory Board (AAB) under the policy review on conservation of built heritage, the Government will earmark resources to set up a dedicated fund for built heritage conservation, with a view to supporting public education, community involvement activities, promotional activities and academic research. It will also cover certain existing initiatives and activities on built heritage conservation, such as the Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme (Revitalisation Scheme) and the Financial Assistance for Maintenance Scheme for privately-owned graded historic buildings. We will first earmark $500 million into the fund.
Safeguarding Drinking Water Quality
In response to the lead in drinking water incident and public concerns on drinking water quality, we will adopt a number of measures to regain public confidence in the drinking water quality in Hong Kong, including stepping up the control over the use of pipes and fittings in inside service, enhancing the inspection and approval of plumbing works and reviewing the regimes of water quality monitoring and the existing Waterworks Ordinance (Cap. 102) and Regulations. We will also study overseas practices and experience in formulating and implementing these measures.
With the endorsement of the Advisory Committee on Water Resources and Quality of Water Supplies, we have enhanced the “Quality Water Supply Scheme for Buildings – Fresh Water”, particularly the protocols of water quality examination to include the testing of four heavy metals, including lead, and expand the scope of water sampling.
Seawater Desalination Plant
We engaged consultants in November 2015 to embark on the design of the first stage of the proposed seawater desalination plant in Tseung Kwan O with a water production capacity of 135 million litres per day (Mld) with provision for expansion to 270 Mld to meet 5 to 10 percent of Hong Kong’s water demand. The detailed design of water mains for delivery of desalinated water to the water supply system using in-house resources is in progress.
Water Intelligent Network
We are progressively establishing the “Water Intelligent Network” (WIN) by installing sensors on the water supply network for continuous monitoring of the health conditions of the water supply network. We are conducting a study on a suitable intelligent network management system for analysis of the vast amount of data collected from the sensors to enable early identification and handling of water mains in poor condition. We will also engage a consultant to explore and adopt appropriate technologies including data mining for predicting the probability of pipe failure.
Greening, Landscape and Tree Management
We will continue to improve the greening, landscape and tree management regime by promoting a holistic approach to enrich biodiversity and enhance place ecology. To this end, we will enforce the principle of “Right Tree, Right Place” through developing the concepts of lifecycle planning and life expectancy for all trees, and a street tree selection guide. We will also devise a strategy to more effectively manage the risk of stonewall trees and improve the current risk management strategy for urban tree assets to assess risk quantitatively and set priorities to identify and handle trees with the highest risk.
In collaboration with the Home Affairs Department, we will launch the Handbook on Tree Management (HTM) for private property owners and incorporate the HTM into the Code of Practice issued under the Building Management Ordinance (Cap. 344). The HTM is designed to enhance the awareness of responsibility and improve the standards of practice among the private property owners, their management agents, and the owners’ corporations.
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. We are conducting a consultancy study to review and update the TWM strategy.
On enhancing water conservation, we have developed the “Cherish Water Campus” Integrated Education Programme on Water Conservation for primary school students. We plan to further promote the use of water saving devices registered under the “Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme” through mandating their use in new developments and major renovation of buildings.
To reduce water loss, further to the water mains replacement and rehabilitation programme and in addition to the progressive establishment of WIN, we will step up enforcement action on cases of leaks of inside service and promote leak detection for private water pipes by their owners.
On developing new water sources, we are continuing our work on the supply of reclaimed water in the north-eastern part of the NT (including Sheung Shui and Fanling) for toilet flushing and other non-potable uses. We have started the design of infrastructure and a consultancy study on the financial and legal framework for the supply of reclaimed water. We are also working on a plan to promote wider use of grey water recycling and rainwater harvesting systems under suitable new government projects.
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 trials on the use of waste glass as fill materials in site formation, backfilling and reclamation works.
Greening, Landscape and Tree Management
We will continue to deliver higher quality landscape planning and design in the upstream to advocate more diligent vegetation management and maintenance in the downstream.
We will continue to promulgate technical circulars and guidelines on recommended standard of good practice for proper planting, tree risk assessment, management and maintenance, and provide training to upkeep and enhance the standard and quality of tree management practice. We will also continue to strengthen the management strategy of Brown Root Rot disease through research studies and field trials so as to better protect the tree population from the disease.
By strengthening co-ordination and communication with the tree management departments, the Expert Panel on Tree Management and other stakeholders, we will keep enhancing the complaint handling mechanism, emergency response system as well as notification system on tree related cases.
We will also roll out a new round of public education and awareness programme to develop a deeper community understanding of lifecycle of trees, life expectancy and urban impacts on our trees, tree risk management and risks associated with our aging tree population.
We have made good progress with a number of initiatives on heritage conservation –
6 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 over 200 new items proposed for grading by the public.
7 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 organised a series of public education programmes and activities to encourage community participation in heritage conservation. For instance, the “Roving Photo Exhibition on Financial Assistance for Maintenance Scheme” for privately-owned historic buildings was held from June to December 2015; “King Yin Lei Public Open Days” were held at selected weekends from July 2015 to January 2016; “Heritage Fiesta 2015” cum photo exhibitions were held from October to November 2015; and a bimonthly newsletter “活化@Heritage” featuring heritage issues and the work of the Commissioner for Heritage’s Office has been published since 2008.
Landslip Prevention and Mitigation Programme
We are continuing the Landslip Prevention and Mitigation Programme (LPMitP) 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 completed a review of the LPMitP in 2015. The LPMitP is in satisfactory progress and delivering the pledged outputs effectively. We will continue the implementation of LPMitP with the following pledged annual outputs remaining unchanged:
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 DMP for Yuen Long, North District, Happy Valley, East Kowloon and West Kowloon have been completed whereas those for 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 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 Phase 2 construction works of an underground stormwater storage tank in Happy Valley. The works are in good progress with Phase 1 put into operation since March 2015.
Landscaping of Nullahs
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.
Revitalising Nullahs and River Channels
We are undertaking a consultancy study for exploring practicable options for applying the concept of revitalising water bodies to nullahs and river channels when carrying out large-scale drainage improvement works and drainage planning for NDAs. Apart from achieving efficient drainage, such objectives will promote greening, biodiversity, beautification and water friendliness; build sustainable drainage facilities; and provide a better living environment.