What if our administrative boundaries were dependent on ecological boundaries? When freshwater becomes increasingly scarce, could we use watersheds as boundaries to better administer the distribution of water resources?
Climate change, urbanization, and pollution from industrial and agricultural development threaten the steady supply of freshwater to the Pearl River Delta and its cities, while population growth in the region only increases demand. At the same time, Hong Kong and Shenzhen’s increasing economic, political and cultural interdependency presents the possibility to tackle these challenges holistically, piggybacking new systems for freshwater delivery onto defunct, existing, and planned infrastructure in the region.
To address the challenges of freshwater provision in the region, we propose a zone of interconnected water resources: the Pearl River Delta Special Ecological Area (PRD SEA). It adopts four water resource strategies: move from a centralized to a decentralized system; link independent systems to enable resource sharing; piggyback new systems on defunct, existing and planned infrastructure; and finally treat “waste” water as a resource.
The PRD SEA imagines a fundamental realignment of water resources from a centralized, source-to-user system, to one that is distributed and interdependent, relying on a user-as-source network. Traditionally, the collection and storage of fresh water, the distribution of potable water, and treatment of resulting waste water are found in independent systems. Within the PRD SEA, we propose to network these systems in a continuous loop of freshwater and treated waste water conduits, allowing shortage and surplus in local systems to be absorbed and resources between municipalities to be shared and traded.
|Team Leader:||Stefan Al
(Department of Urban Planning and Design, HKU)
|Team Members:||Jason Carlow (Department of Architecture, HKU),
Ivan Valin (Department of Urban Planning and Design, HKU )
|Consultants:||Juan Du (Department of Architecture, HKU), Iris Hwang (Arup),
Rowan Roderick-Jones (Arup), Kenneth Kwok (Arup), Kam-Shing Leung (Arup)
|Collaborators:||Anthony Lam Cheuk Wang,
Daniel Fung, Peter Lampard
|Contributors:||Audrey Ma, Norman Ung,
Dannes Kok, Frederick Li