The government said yesterday it expected a by-law on the supply of recycled water to be completed later this year and to put the service out to public tender next year.
Maritime Administration (CP) Director Susana Wong Soi Man made the remarks during a press conference at the CPheadquarters in Barra, The Macau Post Daily reports today.
Wong hosted the press conference to reveal details of a 10-year plan for the use of recycled water, from 2013 to 2022, with the period for public consultation beginning yesterday and ending on February 28.
According to the plan, the long-term goal is that the supply of recycled water will reach at least 40,000 cubic metres per dayin 2020-2022. The short-term goal is that the supply of recycled water will reach some 12,000 cubic metres per day. The government expects the amount of recycled water to reach 10 percent of the total amount of tap water used, according to the plan.
Wong said the government foresaw that the demand for tap water will increase due to the development of the local economy and civil society, because of which there was a need to recycle waste water to replace tap water.
According to Wong, currently the daily amount of tap water used is 230,000 to 250,000 cubic metres on average while it is expected to rise to an average of about 300,000 cubic metres per day over the next few years.
The plan also states that recycled water will be used mainly in the city’s newly developed areas namely in Coloane, the area near Pac On in Taipa, the future campus of the University of Macau in Hengqin Island, Cotai and two areas in the Peninsula – one in Ilha Verde and the other in development built on newly reclaimed land.
The plan points out that recycled water will be mainly used for flushing toilets and watering public gardens.
According to the plan, the price of recycled water will be set at 85 percent of the price of tap water.
Wong said that according to the tentative schedule, it was estimated that recycled water would be supplied no later than 2015.
“Currently the government is drafting a by-law to regulate the service to supply recycled water…it is expected to be completed [later] in the year,” Wong said, adding, “If the by-law is completed this year, it is expected that a public tender for the supply of recycled water will be put out next year.”
Wong also said the way the service to supply recycled water would be similar to other public services outsourced by the government.
“Of course, the future operator will be regulated by the by-law […] who will charge locals and the government [to use recycled water] and [is supposed to] make a profit [from the supply of the recycled water],” Wong said, indicating that the supply of recycled water and the preparation of recycled water would be run two operators. According to Wong, the former will be supervised by the Maritime Administration, while the latter will come under the Environmental Protection Bureau (DSPA).
Wong acknowledged that the government was still unable to give an estimate as to how much would have to be invested in awater recycling plant and the whole supply chain.(macaunews)