Confidence in our water draining away

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 January, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 04 January, 2002, 12:00am

I was surprised to read that 87 per cent of Hong Kong people find water quality 'acceptable' ('40pc 'use filters to purify tap water' ', South China Morning Post, December 22).

A recent survey of 964 Hong Kong residents, commissioned by Civic Exchange and conducted by the Hong Kong Transition project, indicated that water quality is not acceptable to the majority of Hong Kong residents.

In the survey 56 per cent of respondents said that they had a 'great deal' of concern about the effects on their health of polluted drinking water; 62 per cent said the Government should make drinking-water pollution a 'top priority'.

Perhaps environmental behaviour patterns provide the best measure of concern. In the Chinese University survey, referred to in your report, 38 per cent of households used water filters and eight per cent used only bottled water.

The Civic Exchange survey found that an incredible 97 per cent of respondents did not drink water directly from the tap. Most chose to boil it first.

If people are afraid to drink water straight from the tap, water quality clearly needs to be improved.