The 4350water Blog highlights some of the issues relating to proposals for potable reuse in Toowoomba and South East Qld. 4350water blog looks at related political issues as well.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Australia embraces desalination as rain independent water source ...

In three years, the volume of desalinated water used in Australia's capital cities will have risen tenfold - to more than 450GL a year - since Perth opened the first big plant in 2006. Australia-wide, once smaller industrial and bore-water purification plants are counted, 294 desalination plants are already in operation, with 976 more under construction and another 925 in planning. By 2013, the CSIRO predicts, the total volume of desalted water will surge from the present 294ML a day - 0.6 per cent of all potable water - to more than 2GL a day - more than 4 per cent of the total.

Sydney's first desalination project, due to come online at Kurnell within weeks, is being constructed by John Holland and Veolia Water Australia, the same companies involved in the troubled Gold Coast plant. The $2.4bn project will produce 250ML of water a day, 15 per cent of Sydney's water supply.

Perth's existing plant is the city's biggest single source of water, yielding 17 per cent of the city's supply. A second plant is due to start up next year, at a cost tipping $1bn, to produce 50GL of water annually.

Adelaide's $1.83bn desalination plant - the biggest infrastructure project in South Australia's history - is designed to supply up to half the city's water needs when it opens at Port Stanvac by year's end, purifying 100GL of seawater a year. In Melbourne, where dams are nearly two-thirds empty, desalinated water will provide a third of the city's water supply when the nation's biggest desalination project, the $3. bn plant at Wonthaggi, opens at the end of next year to pump 150GL of water every year into the water system.

See - The Australian - Water's quick fix a long-term drain.


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