Macau, China, 10 Nov – All local households will get a 50 patacas (US$ 6.25) rebate on their water bill if they reduce their water use between this month and the end of next February by at least 10 percent from the same period from last year.
The water-saving measures to tackle this year’s salt tide were announced Monday by the Maritime Administration Director Susana Wong Soi Man.
"There won’t be a water shortage [in Macau], this can be guaranteed, but the salinity [of tap water] will keep rising," said Wong a member of the task force "Promoting and establishing water conservation in society".
According to Wong, until spring next year, Zhuhai would need to dilute raw water ten times to provide a safe water supply for the Pearl River Delta region.
Zhuhai is currently undergoing mandatory water rationing where commercial consumers must reduce water use by 20 percent, otherwise they would be penalised and worse, their water supply could be cut off according with The Macau Post Daily.
The measure was implemented due to severe shortage of fresh water supply in the Pearl River Delta, which threatens safe drinking water for Zhuhai and Macau.
Zhuhai supplies about 185,000 cubic metres of water to Macau each day. Most of Macau’s raw water comes from the Modaomen estuary of the Xijiang River.
If the majority of Macao Water’s 176,000 household consumers could reduce their individual water use by 10 percent, one million cubic metres of water would be saved
While the water bill rebate measure is only aimed at household consumers, Wong said her office was in talks with hotel-resorts to draw up feasible water conservation measures to coordinate with the government in saving water to tackle the imminent salt tide.
If the salinity level exceeds the World Health Organisation’s standards of 250mg of salt per litre and persists for at least five days, the bureau would grant 100-pataca (US$ 12.50) subsidy per month to residents receiving financial assistance from the bureau to buy bottled water.
A salt tide is where the low altitude area of a river becomes salty because of a lack of fresh water to replenish it.
In 2006, the seasonal salt tide left Macau’s tap water unsuitable for drinking for several weeks.