Thank you Jason Wordie

August 6th, 2013 atam Posted in Earth, Food, General, Greenwash | No Comments »

A tea connoisseur I know who regularly brews tea that costs thousands of dollars per tael takes his hobby really seriously. Not only does he use the finest porcelain cups and pots to make his tea, he also collects litres of mountain runoff for the purpose, every day.

I used to think the people who lug huge containers to hiking trails to collect water were superstitious folks who thought the water had magical properties. Turns out, it simply tastes better and is full of minerals too.

So a big thank you to Jason Wordie for pointing out the superior properties of Hong Kong water in a recent piece in the Post Magazine. I hope lots of expats read that and will stop hoarding trolley-fuls of bottled water home for consumption, as if the water that comes out of the tap is too poisonous to drink. Although tap water is not necessarily mountain runoff, it is treated to a high standard and I can bet you anything you won’t find traces of Prozac in it, like you would in the UK.

I also hope all those who think nothing of paying for bottled water just ‘cos they can’t be bothered to fill and carry around a water bottle will rethink their habit and stop fattening the wallets of already-rich corporations. Isn’t it funny how an outcry is inevitable whenever an increase in the water tariff is suggested, and yet we’re prepared to pay ridiculous amounts of money to buy the stuff when it’s bottled and marketed with a nice image?

And speaking of water tariff, it’s been known for a while how the low rate has encouraged profligacy, but it’s just too politically sensitive, especially when a government lacks governance, to raise the prospect of increasing it. It’s not just our freshwater use that’s heavily subsidised either; our use of seawater for flushing is too. We pride ourselves on saving lots of freshwater by having a system that uses seawater for flushing, but we’re not told the cost of treating that seawater when it goes down the drain. The salinity of such effluent makes it more difficult to treat, which translates into higher wastewater treatment cost. And we’ve not even factored in the power consumption associated with pumping all this effluent to the Stonecutters Island plant for treatment.

If all of this is a necessary evil, can we not at least try to minimise it?

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