Farm labour, water security and new farm equipment for rural Australia targeted in Federal Budget – Australia

The Federal Budget includes billions of dollars for water infrastructure, and an extended instant asset write-off to help rural Australia lead the country out of the COVID-19 recession.

But those hoping for a clear plan to address the desperate worker shortage on farms or deal with increasing global trade tensions may be disappointed.

With a forecast labour shortage of almost 30,000 workers this harvest, the Federal Government has committed $17.4 million over two years for relocation assistance.


Researchers Have Pioneered A Technique To Purify Water By Using The Power Of Sunlight – Australia

Scientists in Australia have been able to transform brackish water and seawater into safe, clean drinking water in less than 30 minutes using metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) and sunlight.

In a discovery that could provide potable water for millions of people across the world, researchers were not only able to filter harmful particles from water and generate 139.5L of clean water per kilogram of MOF per day, but also perform this task in a more energy-efficient manner than current desalination practices.

Metal-organic frameworks are a class of compounds consisting of metal ions that form a crystalline material with the largest surface area of any material known.


Perth weather watchers worry below-average winter rainfall leaving landscape vulnerable – Australia

Eugenio Valenti has spent almost 70 years growing some of the most coveted grapes in the Swan Valley and turning them into his rustic, Italian-style wine.

But a lot has changed since the 89-year-old started in 1952, most notably the climate.

It’s changed a lot — before in the winter, there was lots and lots of rain, the drainage and the creeks were full,” he recalled.


New Material Makes Salty Water Safe to Drink in Minutes – Sydney

The new innovation developed by scientists in Australia could be the most promising one yet, with researchers using metal-organic framework compounds (or MOFs) together with sunlight to purify water in just half an hour, using a process that’s more efficient than existing techniques, ScienceAlert reported. 

It’s cheap, it’s stable, it’s reusable, and it produces water that meets the World Health Organisation (WHO) standards for desalination.

Around 139.5 litres (nearly 37 gallons) of clean water can be produced per day from a kilogram (2.2 pounds) of MOF material, based on early testing.


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.