Sydney water quality issues keep desal plant running – Australia

Concerns about water quality in Sydney’s main reservoir following last summer’s bushfires have prompted the government to continue to operate the city’s desalination plant even as dams near capacity.

Warragamba Dam on Friday reached 99 per cent capacity after recent rains lifted water levels by one-eighth in a week, WaterNSW data shows.

Across the network, Sydney’s dams were 97.5 per cent full having doubled since February rains effectively ended the region’s drought. Nepean reservoir continues to spill, while most others are more than 94 per cent full.


Australia develops technology to make seawater drinkable within 30 minutes – Australia

Using only a high-tech filter and the power of direct sunlight, Australian researchers have developed a world-first technology that can make large volumes of seawater safe to drink in less than 30 minutes.

According to the Melbourne-based Monash University, the specially-designed filter is capable of generating hundreds of litres of drinkable water per day, and requires only direct sunlight to purify it, making the process energy-efficient, low cost and sustainable.

Used in making the filters are metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), a class of compounds consisting of metal ions that form a crystalline material with the largest surface area of any material known.


Ensuring a climate-resilient water supply for South East Queensland’s future – Australia

Seqwater is the Queensland Government Bulk Water Supply Authority and is responsible for providing a safe, reliable and affordable drinking water supply to 3.2 million people across South East Queensland (SEQ).

A resilient water supply is delivered through 1.8 million hectares of catchment and Australia’s first water grid, including 26 dams, 36 conventional water treatment plants, three purified recycled water treatment plants and one desalination plant.

Seqwater’s extensive capital works and asset maintenance programs play a critical role in safeguarding water sources to meet the future needs of SEQ in a changing climate.


Eyre Peninsula desalination plant moves proposed location after resident concerns – Australia

Residents living close to a proposed desalination plant at Sleaford Bay have felt their concerns have been listened to, as SA Water confirms the site will be positioned further away from Sleaford Mere and whale aggregation areas.

Sleaford Bay resident David Farlam said over a year of consultations with SA Water had paid off.

“The local Sleaford community is really pleased with the decision from what I can gather,” Mr Farlam said.


Desalination plant to reach full capacity amidst critical works – Australia

The Gold Coast Desalination Plant will be ramped up to full capacity to enable critical upgrades to the Mt Crosby Water Treatment Plant.

The desalination plant, located at Tugun, is scheduled to provide up to 133 million litres – the equivalent of 50 Olympic-sized swimming pools ­­– per day into the South East Queensland (SEQ) water grid while the Mt Crosby plant is taken offline for the next stage of critical works.

Natural Resources Minister, Dr Anthony Lynham, said the Mount Crosby plant was one of SEQ’s most important water treatment plants, and would take more than two and a half years to complete, generating up to 100 jobs amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.


Desalination Plant to fire back up for critical works – Australia

The Gold Coast Desalination Plant will be fired back up to full capacity this summer to allow for critical upgrades to one of South East Queensland’s most important water treatment plants.

Natural Resources Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the desalination plant at Tugun was scheduled to provide up to 133 million litres– or the equivalent of 50 Olympic sized swimming pools ­­– per day into the SEQ Water Grid while the Mt Crosby plant is offline for the next stage of critical works.

“Queensland, like the rest of the world, is facing tough economic times ahead due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dr Lynham said.


Utilities bigwig to chair OTTP’s Sydney Desalination Plant – Australia

AGL Energy director and NSW Ports chair Patricia McKenzie has been called into Sydney Desalination Plant to keep its proposed expansion on the political agenda.

It is understood McKenzie has been appointed as Sydney Desalination Plant’s new chair, effective immediately.

McKenzie has 40 years’ experience in NSW’s utilities sector, having previously chaired state owned electricity distribution company Essential Energy and was a director of the now privatised TransGrid and Macquarie Generation.


Desal plant expansion delayed as Sydney no longer in drought – Australia

The Berejiklian government has delayed the expansion of Sydney’s desalination plant, just five months after it moved to double its size to provide more drinking water for the city.

As Sydney is no longer in drought and Warragamba Dam is at 83 per cent capacity, the government is reconsidering its water strategy for the city.

In January, Water Minister Melinda Pavey directed the operators of the plant, in Kurnell in Sydney’s south, to prepare for an expansion “as quickly as practicable”.


Desal plant in pipeline for Kangaroo Island – Australia

The Marshall Liberal Government is committing $33 million to building a desalination plant at Kangaroo Island which will provide a new secure drinking water supply, unlock economic activity and improve bushfire resilience.

The 2 megalitre per day seawater desalination plant will improve drinking water security and provide better water infrastructure to support the local tourism and agriculture industries.

Premier Steven Marshall said this investment will create an estimated 500 jobs and add over $200 million of economic value to Kangaroo Island in the next 15 years.


Govt halts plans to expand Sydney desal plant – Australia

Last December the government asked the independent regulator IPART to investigate the pricing impact of the planned expansion and announced terms of reference for an investigation of costs and charges.

At the time water minister Melinda Pavey told IPART the government had asked the plant to prepare plans to expand its capacity to produce drinking water, saying this was a key element in protecting Sydney’s water security.

She said expansion of the Kurnell plant should be undertaken “as quickly as practicable to deliver an additional 250 megalitres of drinking water over 12 months”.