Student: CHAN Ka Yu Phoebe
Supervisor: Susanne Trumpf
Thesis section: Man-made Ecologies: Interpreting Layers of Urban Landscapes
Programme: Master of Landscape Architecture
Date: June 2020
Freshwater supply in Hong Kong is climate dependent and it is uncertain upon the changing climate. Since 1965, Hong Kong has been importing freshwater from Dongjiang (East River) as the major water source, contributing 70-80% of current consumption. Local yield from protected catchment becomes the remaining and secondary source of supply. This thesis criticizes the conservative water policies and fragmented management framework in Hong Kong. The growing reliance on imported water has led to inertia of long-term freshwater sufficiency. With a projection of increasing rainfall yet longer drought period, there is a need to cater stormwater drainage and freshwater stability to enhance climate resiliency. Meanwhile, almost 90% of rainwater are discharged as stormwater to waste under separate management parties. A potential is observed to increase rainwater harvesting as alternative water supply through integration of freshwater and stormwater management. This thesis attempts to explore the potential of using stormwater as new freshwater sources for domestic water use in Hong Kong. Water management on stormwater and freshwater has been reviewed across scales, zooming in from infrastructural level to districts and communities. With the unique topographic setting and water quality control in Hong Kong, it takes advantage to increase potable water collection in hillside catchment and maximize stormwater harvesting in urban areas. A new integrated system is proposed to reduce flooding in low-lying urban areas and increase local water supply to develop a greater community resiliency on climate change.
Keywords: freshwater supply; climate resiliency; stormwater management; rainwater harvest; flooding