As the environmental assessment for a desalination plant in Perth’s north reached its third stage, the utility flagged it was also starting to investigate more groundwater replenishment and storm water options.
Groundwater in the Western Australian grainbelt is a potential resource for on-farm water self sufficiency. However, most groundwater in this environment is saline to some degree, and is often not suitable for livestock or other on-farm uses.
Nothing says energy transition quite like a renewable energy facility being built on an old fossil fuel asset. Solar farms have been built on or near several old coal plants, and now the South Australia state government utility SA Water plans to build a new solar farm with more than 35,000 solar PV panels on the site of a former oil refinery.
SA Water said on Thursday that it has agreed to purchase 14 hectares of land at the former ExxonMobil Port Stanvac oil refinery, next to the Adelaide Desalination Plant which the solar farm will help power. and as part of the utility’s push to a “zero cost energy future” that involves more than 150MW of solar across dozens of sites, and 34 megawatt hours of battery storage.
Ontario Teachers and Morrison & Co, on behalf of UTA, said they have increased their holdings in SDP with their acquisition of The Infrastructure Fund’s (TIF) ownership stake in the plant. Financial details were undisclosed.
The acquisition enables Gradiant to leverage its proprietary technologies and strong financing capabilities alongside CRS’s project delivery expertise, access to industrial customers, and relationships with leading contractors, corporations and municipalities, facilitating access to Australia’s burgeoning water market.
But then it began to rain, and rain. Sydney water storages jumped from 41% in early February to 75% now – the highest of any capital city in Australia.This is great news for the city, but it comes with a big caveat.
Warragamba Dam is set to jump above 50 per cent capacity due to heavy rainfall, which means that the implementation of a plan by the NSW government to double the capacity of the Sydney Desalination Plant could be delayed.
Reservoirs across Australia are recording dwindling inflows as the climate warms and dries, a trend that is likely to continue and force cities, including Melbourne and Sydney, to bolster the security of water supplies.
A new study by University of NSW scientists published in the Water Resources Research journal examined streamflow data for 222 catchments and applied six of the latest climate models. All models forecast drops in supply.
“We are looking at an average of 20 per cent reduced reliability in the future across all the catchments considered,” said Ashish Sharma, a professor at UNSW’s School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and an author of the report.