WSD conveys concern about drought in Guangdong (with photos/video)

The Director of Water Supplies, Mr Ma Lee-tak, and the Advisory Committee on Quality of Water Supplies visited the Dongjiang from Monday to today (November 9 to 11). They met officials of the Department of Water Resources of Guangdong Province (DWRGP). Mr Ma conveyed to them the concern of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government about the drought in Guangdong.

The DWRGP said it appreciated Hong Kong's concern. It was confident that the water supply to cities and towns alongside the Dongjiang and Hong Kong was secure with the regulation of the storage of the three reservoirs in Guangdong - Xinfeng Jiang, Fengshuba and Baipenzhu.  

Mr Ma told DWRGP officials that Hong Kong would closely liaise with them and comply with their scientific regulation to tackle the drought  without affecting the water supply to Hong Kong. Hong Kong could readily reduce its intake if such a need was established.  Hong Kong will also actively co-operate with the Guangdong authorities if they make other suggestions.

Hong Kong's annual intake of Dongjiang water of up to 820 million cubic metres (MCM) is just 3% of the river's average annual flow volume. The present storage of Hong Kong reservoirs stands at about 480 MCM and is able to cater for Hong Kong's water demand.

The DWRGP has devised and implemented a winter-spring Water Quantity Regulation Plan that makes use of the three reservoirs to meticulously regulate the flow in the Dongjiang to ensure that the water supply to cities and towns along the Dongjiang and Hong Kong will not be affected.

According to the Guangdong authorities, the rainfall within the Dongjiang areas this year is about 1,255 mm, which is 26% below average.  The present total storage of the Xinfeng Jiang, Fengshuba and Baipenzhu Reservoirs in Guangdong is about 7,000 (MCM), which is 25 % less than normal.

Mr Ma appealed to the public to conserve water.

"The water storage in Hong Kong is sufficient. Together with the reliable supply from the Dongjiang, Hong Kong people can enjoy a stable water supply. However, there is no room for complacency.  To cater for uncertainties of drastic climatic changes and lower rainfall, and to enhance the partnership of Hong Kong with other cities in the Pearl River Delta, Hong Kong should make its contribution in water conservation," he said.

The Water Supplies Department (WSD) implemented the total water management strategy in October 2008. A wide range of promotional activities on water conservation have been launched, including roadshows at schools. A programme to retrofit government buildings and schools with 23,000 water saving devices has been implemented. So far 1,200 devices have been installed.

In September, the WSD launched the voluntary "Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme" for shower heads. Suppliers are invited to apply for registration of showers with the scheme. Currently, suppliers have 12 models of showers being tested in preparation for applying for registration.

The Water Supplies Department will step up publicity and education to promote water conservation.

To better understand the water quality of the Dongjiang and to get an update on related water supply facilities, the Advisory Committee on Quality of Water Supplies conducts annual visits to Guangdong. During the trip this year, members of the committee visited reservoirs in Guangdong - Xinfeng Jiang, Fengshuba and Baipenzhu  - as well as the Taiyuan Pumping Station.     

Ends/Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Issued at HKT 19:33


Director of Water Supplies, Mr Ma Lee-tak (centre), visits a sewage treatment plant in He Yuan. Director of Water Supplies, Mr Ma Lee-tak (left), and Chairman of Advisory Committee on Quality of Water Supplies, Professor Ho Kin-chung, visit the Shima River. Members of Advisory Committee on Quality of Water Supplies visit Xinfeng Jiang Reservoir.

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