1. HKIE's Top Award for Our Greening Works Paper

Our submitted paper titled '3+1 Approach for Greening Works at Shatin Sewage Treatment Works' was awarded 1st prize in the 'Civil Engineering Paper of the Year Award 2011', organised by the Civil Division of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers. The Award aims to promote the image of civil engineers and to enhance the exchange of information and ideas among institute members. It was the first time our Department won this top Award which was presented on 4 November, 2011.

The '3+1 Approach' involves three greening elements, namely 'at-grade planting', 'vertical greening' and 'green roof', together with one initiative on the use of reclaimed water for plant irrigation. The Award exemplifies our commitment and efforts in promoting greening in our facilities.

On at-grade planting, we used different types and species of plants along both sides of the main roads to create different seasonal colourful palettes throughout the year and to successfully blend the treatment works, physically and visually, into the surrounding natural environment. On green roofing, we refitted extensive green roofs, of about 3000m2, on four buildings that are clearly visible to nearby residents. The green roofs have not only enhanced the aesthetic value of surrounding environment, but have also helped improve air quality, reduce heat island effect and contribute to energy saving. On vertical greening, the Department collaborated with the University of Hong Kong in June 2009 to carry out a vertical greening study on four circular sludge holding tanks to review the performance of various climber species and to identify the suitable species for growing in our facilities.

We collaborated with local tertiary institutes. Apart from creating a green and environmentally friendly surrounding for the Shatin Sewage Treatment Works (STW), the Department managed also to instill public interest in its greening knowhow through publishing the paper. This is conducive to promoting environmental awareness and will undoubtedly encourage public and private enterprises to further their studies and develop the related knowhow in the field.

2. DSD's Research & Development Forum 2011

Our Department held the annual Research & Development Forum on 24 November 2011 in the 5/F Auditorium, Civil Service Training and Development Institute, North Point Government Offices. The objectives of this forum are to foster collaboration with local universities with common R&D interests and to provide world-class wastewater and stormwater drainage services that assure Hong Kong's sustainable development. About 150 guests from the local tertiary institutions, green groups as well as our consultants, contractors and colleagues from this and other government departments took part. This is the first time two themes, namely 'Hydrology and Hydraulics' and 'Wastewater Treatment', were covered within our one-day forum.

The Director of Drainage Services, Mr Chan Chi-chiu, officiated at the forum's morning session. He highlighted the Department's continuing efforts in promoting innovative engineering researches and solutions and in fostering collaboration with local universities with common R&D interest. Five renowned local researchers presented their R&D studies under the theme 'Hydrology and Hydraulics' shortly after the opening.

After lunch, the Commissioner for Innovation and Technology, Miss Janet Wong, kicked off the afternoon session with a welcoming speech. Miss Wong introduced the Innovation & Technology Fund, the Hong Kong R&D Centre Programme, the use of innovation and technology in the public sector, as well as the R&D Cash Rebate Scheme that encourages and promotes researches in Hong Kong. Subsequent to her speech, six researchers presented their R&D studies relating to wastewater treatment.

Feedback from the attendees was both positive and encouraging.

3. Hong Kong West Drainage Tunnel — the 2011
    International Tunnelling Awards Winner

The Hong Kong West Drainage Tunnel (HKWDT) was named Tunnelling Project of the Year 2011 by an international engineering body. This award, for the category of tunnelling projects costing between US$100 million and US$1 billion, is given out by the International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association together with two British publications, namely New Civil Engineer and Ground Engineering.

The highly-respected International Tunnelling Awards are designed to recognise the most outstanding achievements among tunnelling companies and engineers worldwide. There are altogether 12 award categories, three of which are related to tunnelling projects valued at less than US$100 million; at US$100 million to US$1 billion; and at US$1 billion plus. The 2010 winner in the US$100 million to US$1 billion category was 'Balfour Beatty A3 Hindhead Tunnel and Road Improvement Scheme' of the United Kingdom.

In the 2011 Awards, HKWDT was the only Hong Kong-based project shortlisted by the judging panel among 74 international entries in the 12 categories. Our project eventually won the award as 'a model tunnelling project delivered under difficult circumstances', according to the judges. The presentation ceremony was held in Hong Kong on 1 December 2011.

The 11-kilometre drainage tunnel, with a diameter up to 7.25 metres, is the longest in Hong Kong and run from Tai Hang to Cyberport. HKWDT adopted an innovative design approach to intercept runoff from uphill areas through intakes at strategic locations in mid-levels and convey the runoff to Cyberport for direct discharge to the sea. This also eliminates large-scale additional drainage pipe works on busy roads. The commissioning of HKWDT in mid-2012 marks a major breakthrough in flood alleviation on northern Hong Kong Island.

HKWDT has employed two sets of Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) of the largest size ever used for hard rock excavation here in Hong Kong. The project also scored many other technical firsts for Hong Kong's construction industry. It is the first to use four sets of boring machine extensively to excavate 23 dropshafts, substantially reducing the need for spoil removal on existing busy roads; it is also the first to employ concurrent TBM excavation and adit blasting, for which protocols were developed by the project team to enable TBM works to continue in close proximity to blasting works with minimal interferences. The unusual ground conditions during tunnel excavation posed another challenge; for example, TBMs were needed to pass through eight highly water permeable fault zones of loose and blocky ground.

4. Two Governments Celebrate Shenzhen River
     Regulation's 30th Anniversary

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government and the Shenzhen Municipal People's Government celebrated the 30th anniversary of Shenzhen River regulation at a ceremony held at Shatin STW on 2 March 2012. The Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, and the Executive Vice-Mayor of the Shenzhen Municipal People's Government, Mr Lu Ruifeng, officiated at the ceremony.

The two governments began discussion on regulating the Shenzhen River in December 1981. A joint working group on the river's regulation was set up in April 1982 to implement the regulation project.

The 30-year joint efforts in this river regulation have cemented a close partnership that has helped overcome many difficulties and has also built an effective operation model and co-operation mechanism. The project has become a model for cross-boundary infrastructure projects and will provide invaluable experience and advantage for future cross-boundary co-operation and ventures.

Other officiating guests at the anniversary ceremony were the Deputy Secretary General of the Shenzhen Municipal People's Government, Mr Li Tingzhong; the Director of the Water Resources Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, Mr Zhang Qiwen; the Deputy Director of the Water Resources Bureau of Shenzhen Municipality, Mr Li Changxing; the Permanent Secretary for Development (Works), Mr Wai Chi-sing; the Director of Drainage Services, Mr Chan Chi-chiu; and the Deputy Secretary for Development (Works), Mr Lam Tin-sing.

5. Commencement of Kai Tak River Improvement Works,
    Bringing Refreshing Outlook to Kowloon East

The commencement ceremony for the Kai Tak River improvement works was held at Morse Park on 26 March 2012. The officiating party comprised the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam; the Director of Drainage Services, Mr Chan Chi-chiu; Wong Tai Sin District Council Chairman, Mr Li Tak-hong; and the Convenor of the Community Alliance on Kai Tak Development, Ms Chan Yuen-han.

This project will see Kai Tak River and its neighbourhoods, including Kowloon City, Wong Tai Sin and San Po Kong, developed into a leisure and tourist hub. It will also be an integral part of the 'Energizing Kowloon East' initiative, and will give the entire Kowloon East district a refreshed, revitalised new look.

The Kai Tak River improvement works will also complement the Kai Tak Development Area Project. Emphasis is placed on flood prevention, landscaping and beautification works. The revamped river corridor will become a must-visit leisure attraction, offering another venue for recreation, entertainment, education, community art creation and more. The improved river will serve as a unique urban landscape axis merging the surrounding old districts with the new neighbourhoods created under the Kai Tak Development Project.

Our Department initiated the 'Build our Kai Tak River' activities in 2010 and 2011 to engage the public and to solicit their views on how the river could be improved. The Department also duly consulted the Wong Tai Sin District Council and other related organisations on the matter; their opinions were studied and incorporated in the river's overall construction design, beautification and conservation.

The project will be carried out in three stages. The first stage will primarily reconstruct and rehabilitate an approximately 600-meter-long upstream section of the Kai Tak River, from Po Kong Village Road to Tung Kwong Road.

Improvement works for the mid and lower stream sections of the river will be launched in 2013. The entire project is expected to be completed in 2018.

6. Our First Green Groups Forum is Well-Received

The Department's first Green Groups Forum, held on 10 November 2011 at Shatin STW, aimed to foster collaboration and experience-sharing amongst green groups and our Department in delivering sustainable drainage projects and addressing public's interests. The Forum was well-attended with 15 representatives from five green groups, namely Conservancy Association Hong Kong, Green Power, HK Bird Watching Society, Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden & World Wide Fund for Nature Hong Kong. Colleagues from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department also joined the forum.

We explained to the participants the extensive ecological considerations we had given to the upper Lam Tsuen River, She Shan River, upper Tai Po River, Pak Ngan Heung River, Tai Tei Tong River and Luk Tei Tong River in carrying out our drainage projects. At the same time, we highlighted our efforts in greening, our care for the habitats, and our collaboration with green groups.

Our colleagues also briefed the audience about our pumping stations and STWs, which have been retrofitted with green roofs and vertical greening to enhance the aesthetic values of the surrounding environment. We also adopted vertical greening in our other facilities in addition to conventional greening method to further improve the environment.

At the forum, we also conducted a tour within Shatin STW to highlight our efforts in at-grade planting, green roofing and vertical greening.

Our efforts in water reclamation were also relayed to the guests at the forum. Participants were briefed about the reuse of effluent after the secondary treatment. High-quality reclaimed water was produced for irrigation and for chemical preparation in the treatment works. The newly-installed irrigation system, together with the rain water and soil humidity sensors, have helped reduce water consumption.

Lastly, our Department and the green groups exchanged experiences and discussed challenges in future river training projects, taking both ecological enhancement and hydraulic performance into consideration. The forum received positive and encouraging feedback from all participants and paved the way for a Green Group Workshop in mid-2012.