LCQ20: Promoting a water-friendly culture

In this connection, will the Government informthis Council: (1) of the definition of "water-friendly" used by the authorities and the policy bureau currently in charge of the water-friendly policy; (2) of the water-friendly facilities currently available and under planning; the policies in place to promote a water-friendly culture, and set out the relevant information one by one; the measures that the authorities have put in place to facilitate local communities’ participation in the public engagement exercises when they construct water-friendly facilities and promote relevant policies; (3) whether the authorities made reference to the experience of overseas countries or regions in the past three years in designing local water-friendly facilities and formulating relevant policies, and whether they have assessed the effectiveness of such facilities and policies; and (4) whether the authorities will, in their studies of the construction of piers and related facilities, consider local communities’ demands for water-friendly facilities, apart from taking public transport demands into consideration; of the other policies and measures in place to address local communities’ demands for water-friendly facilities so as to promote a water-friendly culture?
Reply: President, Having consulted the Environment Bureau (ENB), the Home Affairs Bureau (HAB), the Transport and Housing Bureau, the Civil Engineering and Development Department, the Drainage Services Department (DSD), the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), the Marine Department (MD), the Planning Department (PlanD) and the Transport Department, replies to different parts of the question are as follows: (1), (2) and (3) As promulgated in the 2015 Policy Address, the Government would promote a water-friendly culture and activities, including exploring the feasibility of organising water sports activities in Victoria Harbour; promoting water recreational and sports activities and a water-friendly culture in Hong Kong waters beyond Victoria Harbour; continuing to identify desirable locations to build new water sports centres; as well as adopting the concept of revitalisation of water bodies in large-scale drainage improvement works and planning drainage networks for new development areas.
To further enhance the water quality and overall environment, the Government has commenced a consultancy study in 2016 to further explore pragmatic and practical measures to ameliorate the odour and water pollution problems along some harbourfront areas of Victoria Harbour.
To further improve the water quality, relevant departments will continue to review the situation with a view to rectifying existing pollution sources, and the stormwater drainage and sewage facilities in Kai Tak Development and its vicinity.
Water Recreational and Sports Activities In realising water-friendly culture, HAB is mainly responsible for the promotion of water sports.
Apart from the construction of water sports facilities, HAB also encourages and assists in the organisation of water sports activities.
DEVB, PlanD and relevant departments are exploring the feasibility of providing water-friendly facilities through short, medium and long term planning studies and projects.
The UDS aims to examine how the harbourfront areas concerned could be re-defined to promote accessibility, diversity, identity and vibrancy on the land and the water, to re-connect people to the water edge.
The precinct will showcase new water play concept and feature various water-related activities, as well as adopting a flexible design to allow for the hosting of water sports events.
Upon completion of the pilot project, we will consider renovating more ferry piers in the light of the project outcome and passengers’ feedback.

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