Infrastructure Innovation From Asia Pacific

Infrastructure Innovation From Asia Pacific

Hong KongAs climate changes continues to impact our water supplies. We could start to learn from other countries like Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore. We are driven by innovation but too often with the water world it is about resolving a crisis rather than preventing it. With such a diverse region the Asia Pacific has been under pressure, economically, socially and geographically.

With the rising of new economics in countries like China, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam growth will account for two third of the world economy by 2030.

These ever-growing countries needs to continue to invest on their infrastructure.

Hong Kong has been a model for many countries through the region. With past migration the city’s population has grown and transformed into a prospering economic hub.

Hong Kong’s constant search to preserved water has been a key for they success. Hong Kong does not have enough natural fresh water resources to meet the demands. History had taught them from the drought in 1928 to ensure Hong Kong to keep pace with the city’s rapid development. By early 1970 they helped supply all outlying areas of the city with tap water. Hong Kong learned harsh lesson with sever water shortage between 1963-64, it became the primary focus to provide sustainable water supply for the city.

With that in mind in 1970 they build the first ever reservoirs carved from the sea were engineered, by embracing new technologies. Lok On Pai was the largest thermal desalination plan treatment build. Its capacity is more than 270,000 cubic meters of water per day. It was closed in 1982 due to rising energy costs resulting from the Iran and Iraq war.

Alternative water sources were in place, long-term view adopted by Hong Kong government. The usage of seawater used as an alternative source for flushing was introduced. In 1965 an agreement was fully executed between Hong Kong and China for water supply. To this day 70-80% of Hong Kong’s raw water is supplied from Dongjiang in mainland China via an aqueduct

What Hong Kong did have influenced the region with innovation. In South East Queensland in Australia has embraced technology with the WaterSecure in Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme. In 2005 South East Queensland had to face the worst drought in the state history. By working with everyone they were able to overcome the shortage by transporting water from surplus to areas facing a shortfall via 450km of pipeline.

Singapore is another great example of new sources of water such as desalination and new water. They build a brand new ultra-clean, high-grad reclaimed water. Singapore like Hong Kong imports water from its neighbor to supplement its water supply. The country is moving toward self-sufficiency, like the commissioning of the Marina Reservoir that meet about 10% of Singapore’s water demands. It could eventually turn to 90% of Singapore into catchment area in the future by tapping into smaller rivers and streams around the island, using variable salinity plant technology and integration of desalination and new water treatment processes.

Innovation should not be made based on crisis but vision we need better water infrastructure to meet the demands and ever-changing climate.