Australia

Rain could delay plans to double Sydney’s desal plant capacity – Australia

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.

Earlier this year, NSW Water Minister Melinda Pavey directed the operators of the plant to prepare for an expansion “as quickly as practicable” in the context of drought and fast-dropping dam levels.

However the $1 billion project will only proceed from the planning to action stages should dam levels hit certain “trigger points”.

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Desalination plants are a critical part of our future – Australia

With water restrictions increasing around NSW and talk about Sydney moving to level three sanctions, people are starting to ask what happens if the city’s water supply becomes critically low?

The prognosis is not good.

Long-term climate forecasts show the drought continuing for a long time. In addition, our population is increasing and recent per capita water usage rates have actually increased.

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Australia faces falling inflows even as demand for water grows – Australia

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.

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Fear desalination plans could set back NSW emission goals – Australia

The Berejiklian government is yet to commit to a source of electricity to power the expansion of desalination in the state, potentially locking in a significant new source of greenhouse gas emissions for NSW.

Sydney’s existing $2.3 billion desalination plant is 100 per cent powered by renewable energy as part of a 20-year deal signed in 2008.

Water Minister Melinda Pavey declined to commit to the preferred energy source to run the planned doubling of the plant and two other such facilities including in the Illawarra.

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Sydney households face higher water bills due to desal plant expansion – Australia

Water experts are warning an expansion of Sydney’s $2.3 billion desalination plant is likely to take up to two years to complete and lead to higher bills for households.

With the city’s dam levels dropping fast, the Berejiklian government has begun the process of fast-tracking a doubling in the size of the plant at Kurnell in Sydney’s south.

The move has sparked demands from Labor, the Greens and independent MPs for the government to protect households from higher water bills to fund the expansion, given it stands to pocket $2.5 billion in dividends from Sydney Water between 2018 and 2021.

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Sydney desal plant to expand to provide more drinking water – Sydney

The Berejiklian government will fast-track an expansion of Sydney’s desalination plant, which will double it in size to provide more than 30 per cent of the city’s drinking water.

With dam levels dropping to 43 per cent on Wednesday, NSW Water Minister Melinda Pavey has directed the operators of the plant to prepare for an expansion “as quickly as practicable”.

Ms Pavey said the expansion of the plant in Kurnell, in Sydney’s south, was a “key element in protecting Sydney’s water security”.

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MidCoast Council is seeking government approval to proceed with a desalination plant – Australia

With no end in sight to the prolonged dry spell which has gripped the area for more than 12 months, MidCoast Council is fast-tracking the development of a temporary desalination plant at the Nabiac Aquifer water supply plant.

“We’ve made the decision to ensure water security for the Manning-Great Lakes scheme, which supplies 90 per cent of our water users,” MidCoast Council infrastructure and engineering services director, Rob Scott said.

“We are currently seeking approvals from the NSW Government to proceed with a desalination plant, accessing the $1 million grant to kick start the project,” he said.

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Sydney’s desalination plant creates unexpected boom in fish populations – Sydney

The desalination plant in Sydney, Australia, which creates 250 million litres of vital drinking water per day, has an unexpected benefit of also attracting close to four times as many fish to the area, researchers revealed on Thursday.

The desalination plant in Sydney is one of the largest in the world, and in times of reduced rainfall, it supplies roughly 15 percent of the Sydney’s drinking water.

Now, a seven-year study by Southern Cross University (SCU) and the University of New South Wales has shown that in the areas where the plant discharges it’s excess salt — roughly 300 metres offshore — fish numbers have exploded by 279 percent.

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Securing Geelong’s Water Supplies – Australia

Barwon Water will be able to access more water from the Victorian water grid after completing and turning on a new pump station connected to the Melbourne to Geelong pipeline at Lovely Banks.

The new pump station means Barwon Water can extend the reach of the 59-kilometre Melbourne to Geelong pipeline (MGP), a crucial water security measure that was switched on in April.

Having access to the pipeline in addition to Barwon’s storages and the Anglesea borefield – as well as encouraging water savings and use of alternative water supplies such as recycled water and stormwater – means water supplies for the City and surrounding districts are secure.

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Tugun desalination producing 15 per cent of southeast Queensland’s water supply during drought – Australia

THE desalination plant at Tugun has revved up to full capacity, producing 15 per cent of southeast Queensland’s water supply at a time when two-thirds of the state is in drought.

It comes as the State Government launches a new campaign called “Every Drop Counts”, urging Gold Coasters to limit their water consumption by cutting usage by 25 per cent to 150 litres per person per day.

Gold Coasters are the thirstiest water consumers in the southeast, using 182 litres every day, well above the 169-litre average.

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