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Government implements Total Water Management

The Permanent Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works (Works), Mr Mak Chai-kwong, today (October 15) said that the Government was implementing a total water management programme to protect water resources and explore new resources.

Mr Mak said that measures currently being carried out under the programme included management and protection of water gathering grounds; the pilot desalination plant study at Tuen Mun and Ap Lei Chau; the pilot scheme at Ngong Ping on the use of reclaimed water; and public education and promotional activities to encourage members of the public to conserve water and protect water resources.

Officiating at the 2006 World Water Monitoring Day Ceremony, Mr Mak said that the ceremony helped convey a very important message: “We need to join hands to protect the precious water resources. Without water there will be no life. Our community cannot develop in a sustainable manner without clean drinking water.” 

The World Water Monitoring Day, set on October 18 every year, was initiated by the America’s Clean Water Foundation in 2002 with a view to promoting public awareness and participation in the protection of world water resources and quality. The International Water Association and the Water Environment Federation jointly undertake the promotion and coordination of the programme worldwide.

The International Water Association Regional Committee of Hong Kong, China (IWAHK) organised the ceremony at the invitation of International Water Association (IWA), with full support of Education and Manpower Bureau, Drainage Services Department, Environmental Protection Department, and Water Supplies Department.

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

Also officiating at the ceremony, the Director of Water Supplies Department and Chairman of the IWAHK, Mr Chan Chi-chiu, said that 50 countries with more than 8000 sites had registered to join the testing and monitoring exercise in the past three years.

He said that we should be grateful for being able to get clean drinking water at a low price by simply turning on the water taps, and we should disseminate the save water message to all those around us.

As a prelude to World Water Monitoring Day 2006 on October 18, about 120 students from 20 secondary schools carried out simple water tests to assess the quality of water at the opening ceremony. .

Under the guidance of a chemist from WSD, the students used handy kits to carry out simple tests measuring four basic indicators: temperature, acidity, dissolved oxygen and turbidity to assess the quality of the water.

This is the third consecutive year that IWAHK organises a ceremony in Hong Kong for the event.  This year also sees the largest number of participating schools and students.

More details of the World Water Monitoring Day are available at the website www.worldwatermonitoringday.org.

Ends/Sunday, October 15, 2006
Issued at HKT 16:04