Water supply risks and urban responses under a changing climate: A case study of Hong Kong

Liang Yang, Chunxiao Zhang, Grace W. Ngaruiya
2013 Pacific Geographies  
Hong Kong is often portrayed as a water abundant city because of its location in the subtropical zone. However, Hong Kong currently imports large volumes from the Dongjiang-Shenzhen Water Supply Project (DSWS Project) due to low local freshwater availability. The water situation is becoming more complicated with the popula-tion growth, economic development and difficulties in response/management. In addition, studies show that climate change is likely to increase rainfall variability, flood and
more » ... drought events and damage water supply infrastructure in Hong Kong. Hence, ensuring sufficient freshwater availability is the major water management challenge for Hong Kong. This article discusses the issues in the current water supply system and also highlights the six interrelated risks within the context of climate change, namely: drought, rainstorm/flood events, sea-level rise, water pollution, social management and policy gaps in Hong Kong. In conclusion, it suggests that for a sustainable future, Honk Kong needs to invest in improving water self-sufficiency, diversify water sources and conduct aggressive public awareness to increase individual adaptation to predicted climate change impacts.
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