A prelude to World Water Monitoring Day staged at Pok Fu Lam Reservoir

To promote the 2004 World Water Monitoring Day in Hong Kong, about 50 students from 10 secondary schools today (October 3) saw for themselves the quality of local water resources by carrying out simple water tests at Pok Fu Lam Reservoir.

Using handy kits, the students carried out simple tests measuring four basic water properties: temperature, acidity, dissolved oxygen and turbidity under the guidance of a chemist from the Water Supplies Department (WSD). These four basic properties indicate whether the water quality is good for maintaining a normal and healthy ecosystem.

Speaking at the occasion which served as a prelude to the World Water Monitoring Day on October 18, the Permanent Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works (Works), Mr Y.C. Lo, said the Government had strived her best in protecting the local water resources by designating the water gathering grounds of reservoirs as country parks.

"While protecting the water against pollution, the public can enjoy the scenic splendours of the reservoirs," Mr Lo said.

"However, we have to realise that these protection works would only be most effective with full cooperation of all walks of life," he said.

The World Water Monitoring Day, set on October 18 of the year, was initiated by the International Water Association (IWA) in partnership with the America's Clean Water Foundation in 2003 with a view to promoting public awareness and participation in the protection of water resources and quality.

The organisers aim to involve participants from all over the world in testing and monitoring their local water source. They are also required to record their findings on the World Water Monitoring Day website, ultimately contributing to a very useful resources of knowledge about the world's waterways.

Also officiating at the occasion, the Director of Water Supplies cum the Chairman of the IWA Regional Committee of Hong Kong, China, Mr William Ko said this relatively new annual event was a global educational exercise to raise awareness and stimulate interest in the importance of clean water resources.

"More than 400 sites outside the United States registered to join the exercise last year," he added.

As a positive response to the invitation by IWA, today's event at Pok Fu Lam Reservoir was jointly organised by the IWA Regional Committee of Hong Kong, China, the Education and Manpower Bureau, WSD, the Drainage Services Department and the Environmental Protection Department.

Details of the information of the World Water Monitoring Day is available on the official website: www.worldwatermonitoringday.org.

Ends/Sunday, October 3, 2004