The Development Bureau has signed an agreement with Guangdong Province regarding the supply of Dongjiang water for the next three years. Under the new agreement, water prices will rise 0.3% annually. The HKSAR Government says that it had already requested Guangdong Province to review the way that water prices are set, but as the issue is complex so we kept the “package deal lump sum” payment approach. After the review, the HKSAR and Guangdong Province on the payment method for the supply agreement in 2020.
DAB Legislative Councilor Lau Kwok-Fan pointed out that compared to the previous price increases, this is the lowest price hike for Dongjiang water in recent years. But as the water usage of Hong Kong has never reached the full quota set out in the agreement over the long term, our operating costs for this agreement should be surplus. Add to this movements in the exchange rate, the price of water should not be changed.
Even though the HKSAR Government has accepted the proposal of the DAB to discuss a new payment approach with Guangdong Province, this agreement still uses the “package deal lump sum” approach, and as the method for how the water price is calculated lacks transparency, Lau Kwok-Fan feels it is disappointing.
Lau feels that the government should look at the water-usage data of Hong Kong over the past decade and lower the lump sum for the “package deal lump sum”. The water price should be calculated according to the quantity of water actually used. Regarding the review of the payment approach, the working group established by both sides estimated that it will take two years to complete the review. Lau hopes that the government will publicize the results of these discussions as much as possible throughout this process and strive to complete the related work before the next water supply arrangement.
Media Inquiries: Lau Kwok-Fan (9782 7408)