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designing hong kong
CitySpeak: The Water We Drink
Saturday 15 May, 10am - 12:30pm, Fringe Theatre
To reserve your free seat, please call 2521 7251 or email:
[email protected]

Where does the water we drink come from? Is there enough for everyone?

Hong Kong's water supply comes from the rainfall we collect in our reservoirs (20-30%) and water we buy from the Mainland (70-80%). The agreement for water from Dongjiang, a tributary of the Pearl River, will expire in 2015.

With demand growing throughout the Pearl River Delta and supply of water compromised by pollution and climate change, Hong Kong's access to clean water is far from certain.

To become a sustainable city, should Hong Kong be self-sufficient? Should we increase our reservoirs, follow Singapore and recycle our waste water and build plants to desalinate seawater? Who's going to pay?

CitySpeak invites you to join officials, academics and professionals in this discussion about your drinking water.

Keynote speakers

Mr. Ma Lee-tak, Director of the Water Supplies Department, will set the scene and explain Hong Kong’s water supply.

Dr. Lee Boon-ying, Director of the Hong Kong Observatory, will look at the impact of changes in climate and monsoon patterns on water supply to the Pearl River Basin.

Prof. Carlos Lo, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, will address water allocation policy in Guangdong.

Mr. Bevis Mak Wai-lung , Executive Director, Water and Urban Development, AECOM, will review technology for desalination, filtration and demand management measures.


Mr. Mike Kilburn, Environmental Programme Manager at Civic Exchange

Background reading

"Liquid Assets –Water security and management in the Pearl River Basin and Hong Kong" by Civic Exchange, November 2009.


New video from the Story of Stuff team on bottled water. Link is the trailer. Full video is 9 minutes.

Not so trivial
Hong Kong drinks bottled water equal to the volume of IFC2 every year. Our water quality is guaranteed potable by the Water Supplies Department, but not once it is inside your building. In stead of maintaining the pipes in our buildings, we all drink ‘double’ boiled or bottled water wasting energy, plastic, and money.

Civic Exchange is a Hong Kong independent non-profit think tank.

Designing Hong Kong is a not-for-profit organisation focused on sustainable urban planning.
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