Debate over the possibilty of HK’s Independence – Water supply

Some of you may have heard that the conflicts between Hong Kongers and Chinese (mainland Chinese) are escalating day by day. This is a massive topic. There are numerous reasons for this intensive conflict, and I wish I could list them all out. I will try to post them as detailed as I could, hopefully very soon.

Netizens from Hong Kong and China debate, often argue, over who provides more to the other – mainly on the economic benefits. Often, Chinese would accuse Hong Kongers for not being grateful about what China has been doing for Hong Kong. One famous (or infamous?) line Chinese often say is “without China’s help, Hong Kong would have died long time ago”.

Many believe that without Guangdong’s water supply, Hong Kong will not be able to survive. Hong Kong buying water from Guangdong is a pure economic transaction. It is, however, unfair:

(1) the price Hong Kong pay for the water from Guangdong is extremely high

(2) Hong Kong has no right to reduce the purchase quantity (there’s a minimum quantity per year)

Let’s see if Hong Kong would really die without the Guangdong water, just like what many Chinese (unfortunately, many Hong Kongers too) believe!

In 2011, average water usage per day in Hong Kong; 2.53 million cubic meter square – meaning average annual water usage is 9.2335 million cubic meter square


As of 22 October 2012, water reserve in Hong Kong reservoirs: 436.853 million cubic meter square (74.54% of the total capacity)

– Total reservoirs capacity is 586.05 million cubic meter square

Hong Kong’s average catchment’s capacity per year is at least 100 million cubic meter square (the highest is 300 million cubic meter square)


Looking at the numbers, if Guangdong terminates the water purchase agreement, Hong Kong has around six to nine months worth of water reserve to plan the next step.

Let’s look at water wastage in Hong Kong:
– Water wasted as flushing water – 82 million cubic meter square per year
– Fresh water leaks from pipe system –  230 million cubic meter square per year
If all flush water facilities are modified to use sea water (some parts of Hong Kong is already doing so), and repair work of the pipe system is done properly, water wastage can be cut down by 312 million cubic meter square per year!
This also represents a massive reduction of fresh water wastage from 923.35 million cubic meter square to 611.35 million cubic meter square!
Besides reducing fresh water wastage, the Hong Kong government should build (and should have built) a reverse osmosis desalination plant (RO). Given the available technology, the planned RO plant in Tseung Kwan O is estimated to produce 93 million cubic meter square of fresh water annually in the second phase.
We’ve got the number that can match Hong Kong’s consumption, this is pretty close to self-supply, isn’t it?
Of course there are other emergency means to deal with the beginning of this plan:
– Suspend all non necessary fresh water facilities, for example public pools
– Pan Hong Kong campaign to reduce water consumption
– Speed up the construction of the trial RO plants in Tuen Mun and Ap Lei Chau (the RO technology allows RO plants to be expanded quite easily and quickly)
– Acquire small scale RO machines from other countries
Australia’s CITOR, a Japan made mini RO plant weights 550kg, produces 30,000L of fresh water
The amount saved from not purchasing Guangdong water is approximately HK$3.54 billion per year. This can be used to acquire numerous 3M DWS2500T water purifying systems (HK$5,680 each) which can filter 2839L of water effectively.

3 thoughts on “Debate over the possibilty of HK’s Independence – Water supply

  1. Pingback: Populism in Hong Kong | Free Hong Kong

  2. we need more facilities as such to sustain without overly relying on china’s supply including meat, fruit and other daily necessities.

    such facilities are strategically valuable and could be destroyed all in one night if we ever fight for independence.

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