Former Observatory director Lam Chiu-ying added his voice on Friday to a torrent of criticism against a proposal to fill up Plover Cove Reservoir for housing.
Lam – also an adjunct Professor at the Chinese University's Department of Geography and Resource Management, said water security is “fundamental to the survival of any city”, and trumps the need for more housing.
“It is of utmost importance to maintain water security, especially in this age of fluctuating and changing climate”, Lam said. “There could be a drought in southern China not too far in the future and when that happens, we can’t guarantee that the mainland side would really supply all the water we need to sustain Hong Kong”, he added.
A team of researchers from the University of Hong Kong’s Ronald Coase Centre for Property Rights Research suggested on Wednesday that filling up the reservoir should be among a series of large scale reclamation projects that the government should pursue to produce new land for housing.
They said the reservoir project alone would produce 1,200 hectares of land which could accommodate 300,000 new homes.
Asked about the researchers’ Plover Cove dream on RTHK on Friday, Lam quipped, "it’s more like a nightmare".