China supply still flows
By MICHELLE CHIN
WATER is still pumping in from China even though local reservoirs have a 216-day supply after recent rains, the Water Supplies Department said.
Across the territory, 15 of the 17 reservoirs are full, representing 92 per cent of total capacity.
Only the Kowloon and High Island reservoirs still have space for water. Yet the reservoirs' storage level for the same day last year was even higher, at 93 per cent.
In the 72 hours to 10 pm yesterday, the Royal Observatory recorded more than 500 millimetres of rainfall.
The chief engineer of the Water Supplies Department's China Water supply branch, Bobby Ng Mang-tung, said there was no precedent for ceasing water intake from China, even for a single day.
'We don't find the need to stop pumping water from China. Many of our 160 service reservoirs are not full yet. There is still enough capacity to hold the water pumped from the mainland,' Mr Ng said.
'In the worst case we can talk with the Chinese about pumping in less water.' The Water Supplies Department normally pumps a smaller amount of Dongjiang water when the wet season starts in July.
'The amount of water pumped from China is calculated on an annual basis. Flexibility is there for us to adjust the daily incoming volume,' Mr Ng said.
'If we pump in lesser volumes of water on a particular day, we can pump in the balance during the dry season.' This year, China has agreed to supply 690 million cubic metres of water. Two-thirds of the territory's daily consumption of water, 2.5 million cubic metres, are from China. Most of the volume is treated and used by households within a day.