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Macau to carry out decade blueprint for developing recycled water

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image Susana Wong

Recycled water is expected to account for 10 percent of the total water consumption in Macau by 2020, according to a decade-long plan for recycled water development announced by the government’s working group for promoting a water-saving society.
“Macau adopts a relatively high-level standard for recycled water quality. The recycled water will be applied to non-potable uses, including flushing toilets and use in greenery and landscaping; when conditions are ripe, its usage will extend to cooling water in large-scale venues,” said Wong Man Tou, head of the Water Resources Department of the Marine and Water Bureau, at a press conference yesterday.
According to a public consultation conducted between January and February, 86 percent of those polled agreed on developing recycled water in Macau. Meanwhile, those with concerns over recycled water appealed for effective risk management to regulate the water’s production, operation and transportation. “After all, the residents have never used recycled water; they’re concerned about how to ensure the water’s safety, quality and hygiene,” stressed bureau director Susana Wong. “Accordingly, we have several detection schemes. For instance, there will be various sampling points throughout the whole water supply chain, from the factory to the residential areas. Thus the monitoring of recycled water quality won’t be of a lower standard than that of daily tap water.”
The authorities intend to build a water supply structure that is based on tap water and supplemented by reclaimed water through a three-stage plan. By 2016, a water recycling plant will be established in Coloane and put into operation with a daily production capacity of 12,000 cubic meters. It will then start supplying recycled water to the Seac Pai Van public housing communities and the University of Macau’s Hengqin Campus. Regulations on water quality standards and related technologies are expected to be established in this first stage as well.
“The government will roll out pipelines that transport recycled water simultaneously while road works and casino projects in Cotai are under construction,” added the director. Furthermore, a water recycling plant will be built in the Macau peninsula during the last stage of the plan, increasing the total production capacity to 52,000 cubic meters per day. The blueprints also set out a public pipe network system for transporting recycled water to connect the two plants, Cotai, and new developing districts in the peninsula – including NAPE and Ilha Verde – by 2020.
“As for the water prices, our working group has decided that tariffs on recycled water will follow the same pricing classification as tap water; the price of recycled water in each category will equal 85 percent of the corresponding tap water price,” declared Wong Man Tou. Staff reporter

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