Hong Kong 2003
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Water Supplies

Water from Guangdong

The rivers in Guangdong are Hong Kong's major source of raw water. Hong Kong began to receive raw water from Guangdong when a scheme was completed in 1960 for receiving a piped supply of 22.7 million cubic metres a year.

In 1989, an agreement was concluded with the Guangdong provincial authorities for a long-term water supply. Dongjiang (East River) water is now delivered to Hong Kong via the Shenzhen Reservoir through a transfer system, covering about 80 kilometres, which is commonly known as the Dongshen Water Supply System.

In recent years, due to rainfall being much above average together with the declining demand from local industry, the demand for raw water from Guangdong has decreased. The Government reached an agreement with the Guangdong provincial authorities in July 1998 whereby the annual increase stipulated in the 1989 agreement was to be reduced from 30 million cubic metres to 10 million cubic metres for the years from 1998 to 2004. As a result, the total intake for the seven years will be reduced by 560 million cubic metres. Under the agreement, the supply quantity for 2003 was 810 million cubic metres, rising to 820 million cubic metres in 2004, compared with the system's present designed maximum capacity of 1 100 million cubic metres per year. The annual supply quantity beyond 2004 will be subject to further review.

The Dongshen Water Supply System initially had an open channel design. However, to eliminate pollution of the water within the system, a closed aqueduct was built. The first section of the closed aqueduct was commissioned in January, and resulted in a significant improvement in the raw water quality. The completion of the entire closed aqueduct in June was a milestone in the work to improve the quality of Dongjiang water. The raw water quality data obtained after the full commissioning indicated further improvements.

Water Storage and Consumption

Full supply was maintained throughout the year. At year-end, the water in storage amounted to 446 million cubic metres, compared with 442 million cubic metres a year earlier. Hong Kong's two largest reservoirs, High Island and Plover Cove, held a total of 402 million cubic metres. Rainfall of 1 942 millimetres — 12.29 per cent lower than the annual average of 2 214 millimetres — was recorded in 2003.

A peak daily consumption of 2.91 million cubic metres was recorded on July 14, compared with the 2002 peak of 2.83 million cubic metres. The average daily consumption throughout the year was 2.67 million cubic metres, compared with the 2002 average of 2.6 million cubic metres. The consumption of potable water totalled 974 million cubic metres, compared with 949 million cubic metres in 2002. In addition, 241 million cubic metres of sea water were supplied for flushing, compared with 235 million cubic metres in 2002.

Water Works

The first stage of the Tai Po Water Treatment Works, with a daily capacity of 250 000 cubic metres, was commissioned in June. Work is progressing on the first stage of the 20-year programme for the replacement or rehabilitation of some 3 050 kilometres of watermains. This work began in December 2000. Construction is under way for the additional service reservoirs, pumping stations and water supply networks in Kowloon West and East, Hong Kong Island, Pok Fu Lam (including the Cyberport), Tseung Kwan O, Ngong Ping, Sha Tin, Tai Po, North District, Tuen Mun, Yuen Long, Tin Shui Wai and North Lantau (for Hong Kong Disneyland). Major improvement works on the sea water supply system for Central Kowloon and Tsuen Wan continue.

Continuing planning work is in hand to increase the water supply capacity to meet demands from new developments and redevelopment in Central, Wan Chai, western and south-western areas on Hong Kong Island; Kwun Tong in Kowloon; and Tsuen Wan, Kwai Tsing, Yuen Long, Hung Shui Kiu, North Lantau, Tseung Kwan O, and the north-eastern and north-western New Territories. Major design work is focused on the provision of additional service reservoirs, pumping stations and water supply networks in North Point, Quarry Bay, Wan Chai; Kowloon East, West Kowloon Reclamation, Cha Kwo Ling, Tuen Mun, Sha Tin, Yuen Long, Tai Po, Tin Shui Wai, Tseung Kwan O and North Lantau.

As part of the strategy to encourage proper maintenance of internal plumbing systems in buildings, a voluntary Fresh Water Plumbing Quality Maintenance Recognition Scheme was launched in July 2002. The scheme received encouraging public support and more than 870 certificates of compliance were issued under the scheme, benefiting more than 190 000 customers.

Water Accounts and Customer Relations

The number of consumer accounts continues to rise at a rate of about 1.6 per cent per year and the consumer account base expanded to approximately 2.58 million accounts at year-end. To provide greater convenience to customers, applications for change of consumership, change of mailing address, and change of water bill language for a domestic account can be made online. The Water Supplies Department continues to act as an agent to collect general sewage charges on behalf of the Drainage Services Department.

To heighten both customer service and operational efficiency, the department rolled out the first stage of its Customer Care and Billing System (CCBS) in December and the entire system will be completed by the end of 2004.

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