The Illusion of Plenty: Hong Kong’s Water Security, Working Towards Regional Water Harmony

In May 2017, Civic Exchange published a report on Hong Kong’s water sustainability. To download the report, click on the link above.

Civic Exchange and ADM Capital Foundation presented a new research paper, “The Illusion of Plenty: Hong Kong’s Water Security, Working Towards Regional Water Harmony.” This research was supported by the WYNG Foundation.

Water sustains life and facilitates social and economic development. It is vital to our existence, and yet little attention is paid to the precarious nature of Hong Kong’s long-term water security. The most recent Policy Address by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying in January 2017, illustrated how low water issues fall on Hong Kong’s political agenda, despite the stark reality that Hong Kong is more water scarce than parts of the Middle East and Africa.

“The Illusion of Plenty” examines the challenges Hong Kong faces in managing its water sustainably and responsibly. As regional populations burgeon, industries expand and the climate system is increasingly disrupted, innovative strategies must be formulated to ensure that water continues to fl ow through Hong Kong residents’ taps.

This report presents the most up-to-date perspectives and data, based on numerous interviews and a thorough review of documents, articles and reports spanning more than two decades. It provides information on the complex relationships and policies governing water resources in Hong Kong. It identifies innumerable shortcomings within the existing management structure, regulations, tariff schemes, supply network and long-term strategies of the Hong Kong government.

This report is intended to provide a clear insight into the severity of water scarcity in Hong Kong, and the challenges the city faces in protecting this “precious” resource. Ultimately, it explores a range of strategies, including some that that have been successfully adopted elsewhere, which could contribute to regional water harmony.

Additional materials:

Media Coverage: