SDG6 Clean Water and Sanitation
Facing the pressures of urbanisation, industrialisation and population growth, the global supply of clean water is under threat even among developed nations. Recognising that the technologies in place today are inadequate to fulfil future demand of potable water and treated wastewater, HKU is investing in a world-class water research centre equipped with state-of-the-art facilities to develop innovative solutions to combat challenges in urban water resources, and work on wastewater energy and resource recovery. HKU is in collaboration with industry partners to establish the research centre into a Partner State Key Laboratory that will enable projects such as municipal wastewater treatment for improved resource recovery, a smart water grid with wireless sensors for reclaimed water distribution, and policy and strategy on climate change’s impact on water resources.
Ongoing efforts are also in place to ensure the availability of quality drinking water on campus. Over 90 water dispensers are located across different campuses to ensure that every staff, student and visitor have convenient and free access to filtered water. The university has also partnered with a local NGO, Water For Free, to locate on-campus water stations through their app, thereby connecting the public to safe drinking water and reducing bottled water consumption.
To ensure access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all, HKU commits resources to hygiene training and awareness building for its staff and students. Comprehensive guidelines and various training courses are provided ranging from biosafety and chemical safety to management and handling of hazardous waste.
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of courses and research.
papers (in 2017)
Despite having access to a reliable supply of quality water all year round, Hong Kong is inherently a water-short city. Its dependence on the import of freshwater from the nearby Dong River makes it vulnerable to potential water shortage amidst the competition driven by the rapid socio-economic growth of the Pearl River Delta region. In 2017, HKU launched the Jockey Club Water Initiative on Sustainability and Engagement (JC-WISE), a 3-year, multi-million dollar project to raise public awareness on water consumption habits and the importance of water conservation.
Funded by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, the first-of-its-kind mobile app – Water Footprint Calculator – was released, on which users can calculate and track their water usage based on daily dining habits. It measures both direct and indirect water, capturing the total amount of water used throughout the production process of a commodity. By providing insights into how day-to-day actions translate into one’s water footprint, the app allows users to see first-hand how their consumption habits impact water demand and resources. The app empowers the public to recognize their role in water conversation and to encourage the adoption of a low-water footprint lifestyle.