Millions spent on tap water runs to waste

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 22 April, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 22 April, 2004, 12:00am

Villagers living in remote areas are not using tap water even though millions has been spent on connecting their homes to the network.

The Audit Commission has also criticised the Water Supplies Department for failing to properly supervise its main-laying works. Three projects were found to be running 17 months late and at least $26 million over budget.

The commission looked at water consumption figures for 15 remote villages in North District, Sai Kung District and Lantau Island.

In eight villages, not one household had registered a water account. In total, only 79 households had registered an account out of an estimated population of 3,800 residents.

The low usage was attributed to inflated population estimates, villagers' unwillingness to use treated water and illegal water tapping.

The report compared population estimates given by the department and latest estimates by the Home Affairs Department.

It found a huge discrepancy. In one case, the commission recorded 400 residents in Tai Long village, but the department's figures show only 10 people living there.

The Water Supplies Department said it would review the water supply scheme.