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Fresh water is a precious resource and its supply is not unlimited. Many places in the world are facing fresh water shortage problem. A reliable fresh water supply is of paramount importance in sustaining Hong Kong's development and economic growth. However, our water source is facing various challenges, including increasing local water demand arising from population and economic growth, occurrence of extreme weather and severe drought as a result of climate change, as well as competition for water resource due to the rapid economic development in the Pearl Delta Area.

In this connection, WSD has been implementing the "Total Water Management (TWM) Strategy" since 2008 to better prepare Hong Kong for uncertainties such as acute climate changes and low rainfall.

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The TWM strategy is an integrated, multi-sectorial approach built on good water demand and supply management initiatives. One of the key supply management initiatives is to diversify the water supply resources and to develop new water resources. Under the TWM strategy, therefore, Hong Kong should broaden its strategic investment in advanced water treatment such as the reverse osmosis (RO) technology for desalination plant, not affected by climate change. Besides, it will enhance Hong Kong's role as a good partner of other municipalities in the Pearl River Delta in promoting sustainable use of water in the light of the rapid growth of water demand in the region.

WSD has been keeping abreast of the latest developments in desalination technology. The feasibility studies in 2002 and 2007 have confirmed that seawater desalination using reverse osmosis is a viable technology to produce potable water in compliance with the World Health Organisation standards.

WSD commissioned a consultant in December 2012 for planning and investigation study for the proposed desalination plant. The study scope includes detailed economic assessment, project implementation strategy, timetable, and the technical evaluation of the project for the impact on neighboring regions.