Australia

Berejiklian eager to switch on Sydney desalination plant – Sydney – Australia

It’s little wonder the Berejiklian government is eager to switch on the Sydney desalination plant and end the “water security mode” it has languished in since 2012.

At full bore, the Kurnell plant is designed to deliver about 91 billion litres of drinking water a year, meeting almost a sixth of Sydney’s annual needs.

(LINK).

Alkimos in the mix for Perth’s next $1 billion desalination plant.-Perth,Australia

A giant desalination plant in Perth’s northern suburbs is in the mix to be the city’s next major drinking water source, with the Water Corporation set to undertake preparatory works.

The State-owned utility has revealed it is about to carry out a seismic survey of the seabed off Alkimos to identify potential issues or risks associated with building a desalination plant there.

Testing will begin on September 17 and last for three weeks, before a drilling barge is used for “core sampling” until November.

(LINK).

Perth dam levels swell after wet winter.-Perth,Australia

PERTH’s dams have swelled to their highest levels in almost a decade after a return to relatively average rainfall over the past two winters.

The Water Corporation said yesterday that almost 100 billion litres of run-off had flowed into Perth’s network of reservoirs between June and last month — just shy of the post-1975 average of 107 billion litres.

It comes after one of the city’s wettest winters in years during which 467.4mm of rain fell, almost in line with the historical average of 473.7mm.

(LINK).

HICL pockets £91m from Australian water plant sale – Victoria – Australia

HICL Infrastructure (HICL) has agreed to sell its interest in an Australian water plant, netting the trust £91 million.

The £2.8 billion trust managed by InfraRed Capital has agreed to sell its 9.7% interest in the AquaSure Desalination public-private partnership project.

The project is a 30-year concession to finance, construct, operate, and maintain the largest desalination plant in the southern hemisphere and is capable of producing 444 million litres of drinking waters a day.

(LINK).

Sydney dam levels plummeting as desalination plant stalls – Sydney – Australia

A multimillion dollar desalination plant built to address water shortages in Sydney a decade ago may not be fully operational until next August.

As drought continues to grip New South Wales, Sydney’s dam levels are falling at such a rapid rate that the city’s only desalination plant could be needed for the first time since 2012.

Sydney’s total water storage fell to 65% this week, down about a quarter since last year. Warragamba Dam, the city’s largest water source, is at 68.3%. Twelve months ago it was at 90.7% capacity.

(LINK).

Sleaford Bay land purchased for desalination plant – Port Lincoln – Australia

Construction of an $80-million desalination plant at Sleaford Bay is likely to begin in 18 months to two years and would supply Eyre Peninsula with water.

Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs announced the plans on a recent visit to the Port Lincoln.

SA Water finalised the purchase of about 60 hectares of land near Sleaford Bay in July this year.

(LINK).

Why it’s a bad idea to ramp up Adelaide’s desalination plant – Adelaide – Australia

Drought-affected farmers in New South Wales have called for South Australia to increase the use of its desalination plant to enable an increase in water allocations for other users along the Murray River.

The farmers’ argument is that if Adelaide, in particular, draws less water from the river more will be available for agriculture in NSW and Victoria.

The logic may sound appealing, but there are three good reasons why it’s not a good idea. Not only is desalination an incredibly expensive project, there are other strategies – like water pricing – that can more effectively reduce water demand.

 

(LINK).

Dam levels take a dive as the big dry tightens its grip – Sydney – Australia

The Kurnell desalination plant which has sat idle for the past five years may need to be switched back on if Sydney’s dam levels continue to fall.

Water levels at storages supplying the Sydney metropolitan area are sinking amid a lack of rain and rising consumption.

The total storage levels for the Sydney region are running at about two-thirds full, with the desalination plant set to be turned on to supplement the water supply when capacity drops to 60 per cent, according to WaterNSW.

 

(LINK).

Water storage drops in Melbourne

Melburnians are being asked to watch their water use as new figures from Melbourne Water show dam levels fell by 64 billion litres (3.5 per cent of capacity) during the 2017/18 summer. Despite rainfall around 27 per cent above average during summer 2017/18, an extremely dry February in 2018 and an increase in water use had seen storages dip over the season. Melbourne Water General Manager, Integrated Planning, Chris Williams, said storage levels were declining. “We have had a particularly dry February (2018) and when combined with slightly higher water usage, we have seen an impact on our storage levels,” Mr Williams said. As of March 2018, Melbourne’s storages were 63 per cent full with levels expected to decline further over autumn before improving during winter and spring. Melburnians are being urged to ‘Target 155’ following the summer storage dip. While Melburnians are still very water wise, Melbourne’s growing population and climate variability are putting increasing pressure on overall water use. “Water use over summer 2017/18 was up 2.5 per cent, or 33 million litres compared with the previous summer,” Mr Williams said. “Individually though, we only need to save around six litres of water per person, per day, to get back to the target of 155 litres.” “That means doing a few little things around the house like taking shorter showers and using mulch on your garden to reduce water evaporation can easily bring water use back to the desired level.” Following a very wet start to December 2017 , Melbourne’s water storage levels reached their high for summer on 13 December, at 69.7 per cent before falling to 65.0 per cent on 28 February 2018 after a dry month. Without the water supplied by the Victorian Desalination Plant in 2017, storage levels would be 3.4 per cent lower. February 2017 rainfall was 69 per ent below average with only 18mm falling around the catchments. This led to reduced streamflow into water storages – down 46 per cent on February 2017. It was even drier across Melbourne with most stations observing totals less than 10 per cent of their February average which resulted in drier parks and gardens, leading to this summer’s increased water use. (Link)

Water for Perth increasingly supplied from desalination plants – Australia

More than half of Perth’s water over the last two years was sourced from desalination, and demand for connections to water and sewerage infrastructure remained strong, according to a new report. The Economic Regulation Authority’s (ERA) 2016-17 Water, Sewerage and Irrigation Performance report has found that 51.5 per cent of water sourced for Perth came from desalination in 2016-17. This was the first time that desalination accounted for more than half of Perth’s water. Perth’s two desalination plants operated at close to maximum capacity, producing a combined total of 149,823 megalitres. “The increased use of desalination is the result of the Water Corporation’s strategy to source more of Perth’s water from sources independent of climate,” ERA chair, Nicky Cusworth said. “The record wet summer of 2016-17 meant that unused desalinated water could be stored in dams, for use in future years.” Ms Cusworth said the ERA’s report confirmed the link between rainfall patterns and water consumption. “Western Australia’s rainfall in the summer of 2016-17 was the highest on record, which reduced demand for water across the state. “The total volume of water supplied in Perth decreased by 3.1 per cent (8136 megalitres), and the volume supplied in regional towns decreased by 2.8 per cent (2840 megalitres). “Average household water consumption was also lower. Perth households used 7.1 per cent (17 kilolitres) less water, and regional households used 6.7 per cent (19 kilolitres) less.” Demand for connections to water and sewerage infrastructure remained strong in Perth. “The report finds that there were 16,000 new connections to water and sewer mains in 2016-17,” Ms Cusworth said. “The number of connections to water and sewer mains in regional towns also increased in the year.” There was also a substantial reduction in demand for irrigation water in 2016-17. Harvey Water, which supplies irrigation water to growers and dairy farmers in the South West, decreased its supply volumes by 18.7 per cent. The volume of water supplied by Ord Irrigation Cooperative to growers in the state’s far north decreased by 13 per cent.

(LINK)