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LCQ20: Irrigation of plants in LCSD venues

     Following is a question by the Hon Chan Hak-kan and a written reply by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak-sing, in the Legislative Council today (October 15) :


     Regarding the irrigation of plants in venues under the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), will the Government inform this Council:

(1) of the quantity of water used for irrigation by LCSD each year since 2010-2011;

(2) whether it has reviewed the effectiveness of the existing irrigation methods and explored which of them is the most effective; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

(3) whether LCSD found, in the past three years, cases of its staff members or contractors using excessive amount of water for irrigation; if it did, of the details; of the content of the irrigation guidelines provided by LCSD to them; and

(4) whether, when constructing parks, it has considered making reference to the practice of using water from natural sources for the irrigation of plants as adopted by the Mainland or overseas countries, so that such parks can be self-sufficient in water use?



(1) Water is used at LCSD venues for purposes such as the irrigation of plants, washing, bathing and toilet flushing. The Department does not have information on the specific amount of water used for irrigation.

(2) The Department regularly reviews irrigation methods with the aim of reducing the loss of irrigation water. It inspects the irrigation systems with a view to preventing water leakage, uses spray nozzles for irrigation to prevent water loss from the soil surface, and mixes the soil with soil conditioners (such as peat moss) to store water.

(3) Guidelines on the irrigation of plants are set out in LCSD's horticultural manuals and horticultural maintenance contracts for staff and contractors' reference. The guidelines state, inter alia, that plants should not be watered on rainy days or when the soil is saturated. LCSD re-circulates the guidelines to its frontline staff and horticultural maintenance contractors before each rainy season to help ensure compliance with water-saving measures, and management staff are required to conduct regular inspections of irrigation systems. Also, drought tolerant plants such as Hymenocallis littoralis (Spider Lily), Ixora chinensis (Red Ixora) and Schefflera heptaphylla (Ivy Tree) are planted to reduce water consumption.

(4) When designing new parks, the Government will, having regard to the needs of individual venues, provide suitable irrigation facilities (such as automatic irrigation systems and soil moisture measurement sensors) and consider installing rainwater harvesting recycling systems for irrigation purposes to promote the efficient use of water.

Ends/Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Issued at HKT 11:30


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