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  • Jul 31, 2014
  • Updated: 7:39am
NewsHong Kong
ENVIRONMENT

Wasting water cheaper than bigger reservoirs: Paul Chan

PUBLISHED : Monday, 09 December, 2013, 6:37am
UPDATED : Monday, 09 December, 2013, 6:37am

The cost of increasing the capacity of Hong Kong's reservoirs exceeds that of simply discharging excess water into the sea, the development minister has said as he defends accusations that the government is wasting water from overflowing reservoirs.

Expanding the reservoirs would incur substantial project and operating costs, amounting to much more than it would cost to boost water supply through current means, such as purchasing Dongjiang water, Development Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po wrote on his blog.

"Some reservoirs in Hong Kong - such as the Kowloon Reservoir and Tai Tam Reservoir - are listed as statutory heritage, where expansion is not appropriate [as the works involved might affect the structures]," he wrote.

"It is also a concern that the ecological environment at the lower course would be affected by any construction works to enlarge the reservoirs."

Because of extreme weather and heavy rainfall in recent years, many of the city's reservoirs are overflowing, meaning excess water must be discharged into the sea, local media reported.

The reports said the cost of water released over the past eight years amounted to as much as HK$1.1 billion of public money.

But Chan said the government had put a great deal of effort into controlling water supply, especially in the rainy seasons.

"Flooding can rarely be seen at our two largest reservoirs, High Island Reservoir and Plover Cove Reservoir," the development minister wrote.

In 2006, the Water Supply Agreement was revised, with Guangdong province to provide Hong Kong with a more "flexible" supply of water from the Dongjiang.

The new agreement allowed for less water to be withdrawn when the city's reservoirs were full and for more water to be taken in times of drought, with the annual payment for the water remaining the same.

Under the new agreement, the total volume of reservoir water that was discharged into the sea dropped 71 per cent, from 10.1 billion square metres in 2005 to 29 million square metres last year, Chan said.

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daily
Will we ever get the chance that Paul Chan will step down?................how much more incompetent can HK's government officials get?.........
keithkklau@gmail.com
It is really scaring in the logic behind Chan's comment. Water is a vital resource which is grossly undervalued in financial terms. While we have the money, but it is totally wrong to say "we are legitimate to waste water simply for economic reasons". Well we can look into Singapore where CY Leung take it as a role model. They have developed an extensive rain water collection network to ensure water security and for sure, it does not make economic sense against buying from Malaysia. South China is already short of clean water for poor conservation work there and demand for water is growing fast. Even we are now given priority access to Dongjiang water, how long can this status be sustained is a big question mark in the long run given our neighbouring regions badly need the fresh water. "Save fresh water" is a very important part of environmental conservation and it is a real pity CY Leung team does not have this sense or dare not to challenge HK people's comfort zone.
impala
"[T]he total volume of reservoir water that was discharged into the sea dropped 71 per cent, from 10.1 billion square metres in 2005 to 29 million square metres last year, Chan said."

I really hope he didn't say that. If he did, he is even more incompetent than we already feared.

Firstly, as already pointed out - we surely must be talking about cubic, not square meters.

Secondly, and perhaps worse, a drop from 10.1 billion to 29 million would imply a drop of 99.71 percent. Billions and millions, all very confusing isn't it, Mr Chan?

So what is it? 10.1 billion to 2.9 billion? 1.01 billion to 290 million perhaps? Did it drop at all? I mean, is he sure? Is he making figures up as he goes?

We pay this man in excess of HKD 300k per month, and he can't even get his facts straight.
caractacus
SCMP: teach your reporters the difference between square and cubic metres.
caractacus
It's a pity that Paul Chan Mo Po is not so sensitive about construction damage and pollution in the Country Parks where he is colluding with the Heu ng Yee K uk in its criminal campaign to fill all available villages with thousands of houses.
joyalsofi
"The cost of increasing the capacity of Hong Kong's reservoirs exceeds that of simply discharging excess water into the sea," The cost, by which is meant money, a fictional, man-made artifact, is weighed against a vital, yet dwindling natural resource. And the decision is that it's more important to save the fictional than the real. - Got it.
ianson
Volume measured in square metres now, is it? Brilliant.
rvto
Yes as HK will be a international city we have to use international measurement units.
lexishk
A symptom of the property obsession, where three-dimensional apartments are described in square units?
 
 
 
 
 

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