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41 waterworks structures declared monuments
The Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, today (September 18) announced the declaration of 41 waterworks structures within six pre-war reservoirs as monuments to recognise the high historic value of these public works facilities.
Mrs Lam and Chairman of the Antiquities Advisory Board, Mr Bernard Chan, officiated at a ceremony in Tai Tam Tuk Raw Water Pumping Station this afternoon to celebrate the declaration.
Mrs Lam said the waterworks monuments, which included bridges, dams and valve houses, had witnessed the changes of society and the development of the water supply system in Hong Kong over the past 150 years.
The construction of Hong Kong's water supply system dated back to 1860s when the first built reservoir was completed in 1863 in Pok Fu Lam. Much larger reservoirs and more complex water supply systems were constructed in the following decades to cater for the population growth and city expansion.
Nowadays most of these historic facilities are intact and still in operation.
"The declaration of these historic 41 waterworks facilities as statutory monuments demonstrates not only the Government's commitment to heritage conservation, but also our determination to provide reliable and quality water supply to the people of Hong Kong," she said.
Mrs Lam thanked the Antiquities Advisory Board, Antiquities and Monuments Office and Water Supplies Department for their support in the monument declaration, which had taken a major step forward in Hong Kong's heritage conservation work.
The 41 waterworks monuments are located within six reservoirs, Pok Fu Lam Reservoir, Wong Nai Chung Reservoir, Kowloon Reservoir, Aberdeen Reservoir, Shing Mun (Jubilee) Reservoir, as well as Tai Tam Group of Reservoirs. Wong Nai Chung Reservoir has been a popular boating park since 1986, but all the other reservoirs are still operating.
Among the monuments, the oldest structures are the former watchman's cottage and the gauge basin in Pok Fu Lam Reservoir built in 1863. The former is now being used as the Pok Fu Lam Management Centre of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. The "youngest" monument is the memorial stone of the Shing Mun Reservoir which was constructed in 1937.
To promote appreciation of these beautiful monuments and the history of Hong Kong's water supply, Mrs Lam and Mr Chan also performed a plaque unveiling ceremony at Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir to open the Tai Tam Waterworks Heritage Trail.
Along this scenic 5km long heritage trail in the Tai Tam Group of Reservoirs, there are 21 waterworks monuments ranging from valve houses, to bridges, to staff quarters. A total of 10 information stations are set up en route to introduce the function and historic value of these monuments.
The trail is designed for enjoyment by all family members and can be completed in around two hours. There is convenient public transport to Wong Nai Chung Gap near Hong Kong Parkview or to the junction of Tai Tam Road and Tai Tam Reservoir Road where the trail is located.
Also celebrating the monument declaration today were 120 secondary school students from Pui Kiu College. As well as joining the celebration, they also conducted a series of scientific tests on the water quality of Tai Tam Group of Reservoirs to mark World Water Monitoring Day 2009.
The World Water Monitoring Day 2009 is organised by the Hong Kong (China) Regional Committee of the International Water Association (IWAHK) with the objective of enhancing awareness and involvement of the community in the protection of water quality.
More details about the 41 declared waterworks monuments and the Tai Tam Waterworks Heritage Trail are available on (www.heritage.gov.hk) and (www.wsd.gov.hk).
Ends/Friday, September 18 , 2009
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