Third water pipe, new reservoir will ensure “stable local water supply”

Yongjiang, Nanning 
 
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Issue 297, Page 5
Word count: 674
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung in Guangzhou

The construction of the third water pipe and the Chuk Un Reservoir in Zhuhai will guarantee a stable supply of fresh water to Macau, said head of the Maritime Administration, Wong Soi Man yesterday.

Ms Wong, who is also the group leader of water salinity management, participated in the Macau delegation’s trip between Tuesday and Friday to the Chinese provinces of Guangdong, Guizhou and Guangxi for meetings with water resources departments and experts in order to reduce water salinity in the SAR and work on water conservation measures.

Speaking to reporters at the conclusion of the site visit in the city of Guangzhou yesterday, Ms Wong said the salinity problem was actually “quite severe” during the last winter and this spring.

However, due to several water transfers carried out by the Pearl River Water Commission and the three provinces, Ms Vong said the salinity in Macau’s water supply remained at a safe level (the degree of salinity was below 100 milligrams per litre, while the national standard was 250 milligrams).

“The experts in the mainland put a lot of effort into the preservation of water resources in the upper stream and they will continue to do so in order to ensure residents in the Pearl River Delta regions such as Macau can be supplied with clean and quality drinking water,” she added.

During the meeting of the Pearl River Water Commission in Guangzhou on Tuesday, the Macau delegation was introduced to the Da Teng Strait Water Hub project which will integrate a power plant, flood control facility and a reservoir in the Xijiang section of the Pearl River.

Although Ms Vong said the Da Teng Strait Water Hub project was in its infancy and preliminary work was still underway, the possibility of implementing the construction had greatly increased at present.

“This integrated water hub will be a decisive project and will be able to contribute significantly to the adequate capacity of fresh water in the Pearl River’s lower stream,” she said.

Asked if Macau would be sharing the construction cost, Ms Vong said it was “too early to comment” as the Pearl River Water Commission was still doing the design and other preliminary work.

She added that much work was required such as reporting to the State Council of China before the construction could begin.

“The SAR government is still waiting for more details from the water resources administration or the State Council about the construction of Da Teng Strait project, and afterwards we can decide how we can accommodate their requests.”

However the water hub was more than 10 years away, the maritime department head said, before which other measures had to be introduced to ensure a safe supply of water in the coming years.

Short-term measures include the buildings of the third water pipe and the Chuk Un Reservoir in Zhuhai’s south water supply system which are expected to be due in July this year and by 2010 respectively.

“The completion of the construction will greatly enhance Macau’s ability to handle the threats imposed by salinity,” Ms Vong said.

Macau invested 54 million yuan in building the 3.6-kilometre long pipe which will boost the capacity of water supply from Zhuhai in order to meet the increasing demand from the region.

A co-operation agreement was signed between Macau and Guangdong province last year which set out the amount of investment Macau has to put in the project of Chuk Un Reservoir.

And the SAR government agreed to offer an interest-free loan of 450 million yuan to Zhuhai to help subsidy the construction which will cost about total 800 million yuan.

Ms Vong said further details of the project still needed to be discussed, adding that the proposal would be completed this year outlining how the installment would be paid and the payment of the advance water tariff.

The Macau delegation led by Secretary for Transport and Public Works, Lau Si Io, returned to Macau yesterday afternoon after visiting the flood control project in the river of Yongjiang in Guangxi’s capital city of Nanning.

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