Australia

Ash from fires threatens Melbourne’s water as large desal order placed – Melbourne

Bushfires in Gippsland have burnt 13 per cent of the forest around the Thomson Dam, Melbourne’s major water catchment, leaving blankets of ash that threaten to pollute the city’s water supply.

Heavy rain, while desperately needed after an extremely hot and dry summer, would only worsen the city’s water outlook, as it would wash the fire refuse into the vast reservoir, rendering it unusable for months.

Up to five per cent of the forest around the smaller Upper Yarra reservoir east of Melbourne has also been burnt.

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Cities turn to desalination for water security, but at what cost?

Removing salts and other impurities from water is really difficult. For thousands of years people, including Aristotle, tried to make fresh water from sea water. In the 21st century, advances in desalination technology mean water authorities in Australia and worldwide can supply bountiful fresh water at the flick of a switch.

Achieving water security using desalination is now a priority for the majority of Australia’s capital cities, all but one of which are on the coast. Using the abundance of sea water as a source, this approach seeks to “climate proof” our cities’ water supplies.

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Water restrictions, desal warning for Melbourne after blaze near dam – Melbourne

Melburnians could be drinking water from Victoria’s desalination plant – or even be put on water restrictions – if a fire on the banks of a major water catchment east of the city is not quickly brought under control, the Water Minister has warned.

Lightning sparked a bushfire about a week ago in thick forest in the Baw Baw National Park, about three hours’ drive east of Melbourne.

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Desalination plant should be reserved for extreme occasions – Sydney

This weekend brings a bittersweet moment when Sydneysiders are reminded that we don’t live on just those sweet rains from heaven. After six years of trouble and tempest, we’re getting our desalination plant back.

The plant, at Kurnell, is designed to be used when Sydney’s dams fall below 60 per cent capacity, a (water) mark expected this weekend.

When running at full tilt, in six to eight months from switching on, the plant will produce 250 million litres a day – or about 15 per cent of Sydney’s drinking water.

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Sydney desalination plant just days from starting up as dam levels dive – Kurnell – Australia

Sydney households will have up to $35 added to their annual water bills to cover the restart of the city’s desalination plant, the Berejiklian government says.

On Tuesday, Sydney and Wollongong’s dams were 60.3 per cent full, marginally above the trigger point for switching on the desalination plant. On current projections, the sub-60 per cent mark is likely to be crossed this weekend.

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REVEALED: SA’s billion dollar water torture – Australia

Former SA Water chair, Essential Services Commissioner and ETSA CEO Lew Owens was last year appointed by Treasurer Rob Lucas to oversee an independent inquiry into water pricing in SA.

InDaily can reveal that Owens has distributed an interim report to stakeholders – entitled “A Cautious Conclusion” – whose economic modelling suggests the valuation of SA Water’s asset base has likely been overstated by at least $421 million – and as much as $1.071 billion.

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Wellard puts focus on export process – Fremantle


WELLARD showcased the live trade industry last week when about 4500 head of cattle were loaded aboard the Ocean Swagman at Fremantle Port, as the company prepared to send them on an eight day voyage to Vietnam.

Wellard held guided tours of the vessel, which included a group of veterinarian students from the Murdoch University Vet School, to provide them with a better understanding of what it looked like and how things were done on board so that they understood the trade if they ever worked on a vessel in the future.

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Fluence Secures US$50 Million BOOT Project Financing Facility – Melbourne

MELBOURNE, Australia & NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Fluence Corporation Limited (ASX: FLC) is pleased to announce that it has secured a US $50.0 million non-recourse debt facility for project financing of Build, Own, Operate & Transfer (BOOT) projects.

The facility is provided by a leading US-based sustainable infrastructure investment firm with extensive experience in financing infrastructure and renewable energy projects.

Fluence will have access to this facility on a project-by-project basis for 3 years for BOOT projects around the globe.

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Former Australian minister to discuss SA water crisis – Cape Town – South Africa

Water Shortage South Africa along with global water expert Professor Anthony Turton and former minister of Victoria Professor John Thwaite are to have a discussion centred around the Cape Town water crisis.

Water Shortage South Africa CEO, Benoit Le Roy in a statement on Monday said Turton warns of the real estate bubble that could well burst in Cape Town as a result of poor leadership, both locally, and nationally during the water crisis.

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Western Australia rolling out major innovation hub to deal with climate change – Perth – Australia

Western Australia state is rolling out a major innovation hub to help develop wastewater recycling technologies as part of the latest efforts to deal with the impact of climate change on the valuable resource.

“Given wastewater is 99.97 percent water, as it mostly comes from showers, baths and sinks, the potential to develop more recycling options for this resource is just beginning to be explored as we work towards a more sustainable future,” the state’s Water Minister Dave Kelly said in a statement late on Tuesday.

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