LCQ17: Dongjiang River Basin Water Resources Allocation Scheme

Following is a question by the Hon Frederick Fung Kin-kee and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, in the Legislative Council today (December 12):


It has been reported that the Guangdong authorities will soon implement the Dongjiang River Basin Water Resources Allocation Scheme to limit the quantity of water to be drawn by cities along the Dongjiang River.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether it has communicated with the Guangdong authorities about the aforesaid measure; if it has, of the details, and whether it has assessed the impact of such a measure on the quantity of potable water supply to Hong Kong in the short term;

(b) given that the provisions on the quantity and price of water supply in the water supply arrangements signed between the Government and the Guangdong authorities are valid for the period up to 2008 only, whether it has assessed the impact of the aforesaid measure on the price and mode of potable water supply to Hong Kong after 2008; and

(c) what it has done and will do to explore other water resources?


Madam President,

(a) The Guangdong and Hong Kong authorities meet regularly on Dongjiang water supply.  At the meeting held in October 2007, the Guangdong authorities advised that the "Dongjiang Water Resource Allocation Scheme" (the Scheme) was being drafted.  However, they did not reveal any details of the Scheme, nor indicate that the Scheme would directly affect the Dongjiang water supply to Hong Kong.

(b) The current Dongjiang Water Supply Agreement will expire by the end of 2008.  We have started negotiation with the Guangdong authorities for a new water supply agreement.  Since the Scheme is still being drafted, we are not able to evaluate at this stage what effect it would bring on the negotiation of the new water supply agreement.

(c) We have just completed a pilot desalination plant study using reverse osmosis technology.  We are also conducting pilot schemes on the use of reclaimed water at Ngong Ping and Shek Wu Hui.  Under the pilot schemes, treated effluent after further processing would be put to non-potable use such as flushing and irrigation.

Separately, we are proceeding with a study on the total water management.  We will take into account major factors such as environment, cost effectiveness and sustainability, as well as information and data collected through the foregoing pilot schemes to formulate a long term strategy for the total water management.  The study is expected to be completed in 2008.

Ends/Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Issued at HKT 15:01