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Agreement ensures stable supply of Dongjiang Water to Hong Kong (with photos)

     The Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, signed a new agreement for the supply of Dongjiang water to Hong Kong for the period between 2009 and 2011 with the Director General of the Department of Water Resources, Guangdong Province, Mr Huang Boqing, in Shenzhen today (December 11).

     The agreement will guarantee a stable yet flexible supply of Dongjiang water up to 2011 based on the actual needs of Hong Kong. This will cater for Hong Kong's needs even under extreme drought conditions with a return period of one in 100 years.

     There will be flexibility in the daily supply rate to tie in with seasonal fluctuations in the local yield, which will enable Hong Kong to have better control of the storage level in reservoirs, thereby minimising wastage and saving pumping costs.

     Under the new agreement, Hong Kong will pay fixed lump sums of $2,959 million, $3,146 million and $3,344 million for 2009, 2010 and 2011 respectively.  

     A spokesman for the Development Bureau said that the increases generally reflected the appreciation of the renminbi against the Hong Kong dollar and inflation over the last three years.

     "The increased purchase costs of Dongjiang water will not have an immediate impact on water charges as the Government has already announced that water charges will be frozen for 2008-09 and 2009-10 as a means to assist various sectors of the community to cope with inflation," the spokesman said.

     At the business meeting with the Guangdong authorities today, both sides reviewed the Dongjiang water quality monitoring work and the progress of various measures being undertaken by the Guangdong side continuously to enhance water quality.  The measures include speeding up construction of sewage treatment plants to increase the treatment capacity for wastewater, strengthening supervision and control of industrial pollution at source and implementation of construction projects to intercept and divert sewage from entering the Shenzhen Reservoir to protect the water quality of the reservoir. Both sides will continue to work together in this respect to further improve the quality of Dongjiang water.

     The meeting also noted that the Guangdong authorities have implemented various projects to tackle the water pollution problems.  The projects include the construction of the dedicated aqueduct and the Shima River sewage diversion scheme, which have brought about significant improvement to the quality of Dongjiang water.  In addition, the stringent enforcement of pollution control laws by the relevant authorities of Guangdong has further enhanced the quality of water being supplied to Hong Kong.

Ends/Thursday, December 11, 2008
Issued at HKT 18:50


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