Desalination in Kwinana

The premier of Western Australia, Alan Carpenter, officially opened the Perth Seawater Desalination Plant last week on 18 April, in Kwinana, 25km south of Perth. Premier Carpenter said,

Western Australia has become the first state in Australia to use desalination as a major public water source. By harnessing water from the ocean, we have acquired an abundant source of drinking water that is not dependent on rainfall.

The 45 gigalitre per year desalination plant includes seawater intake, pretreatment, reverse osmosis desalination, drinking water potabilisation and pumping station and produces 17 percent of Perth’s water needs. In a news story from last year, the Western Australian Water Corporation said

its desalination plant in Kwinana will help avoid the need for total sprinkler bans in Perth and the south-west.

Desalination is a wasteful use of resources. Despite this, the WA government is hoping to open more desalination plants. WA could avoid total sprinkler bans by using water more efficiently and recycling the water we do use, as I’ve discussed previously.

The Greens (WA) Water Resources Policy 2005 discussed the desalination plant at Kwinana.

The Greens (WA) oppose the construction Kwinana by the Water Corporation of a desalination plant at Kwinana on Greenhouse gas emission grounds.

The plant does use electricity produced by the Emu Downs Wind Farm, 200km north of Perth, but this electricity could be better used in replacing electricity generated from coal, where most of Perth’s electricity currently comes from.

Some of the history of the politics of building the desalination plant can be found at the Perth Water Users Group and one of the group’s founders Warwick Hughes’ website on Perth and Catchments Rainfall History and Water Resources.


6 thoughts on “Desalination in Kwinana

  1. This isn’t in any way related, but I wanted to say thank you for the addition to your blogroll! I’m adding a link to yours as well and please keep the good posts coming.

  2. Pingback: WATER « The Coffee House

  3. Did we hear correctly in NSW that WA is having pollution problems with their desalination??

    Do we really need ‘unrestricted’ sprinklers?? City people use far too much water. City children think milk comes from a refrigerator & water comes from a tap. Two generations have grown up thinking all our resources are endless

    When I came to Australia 50 years ago, I could not believe how many people thought their concrete would grow if they hosed it continually – it was a morning ritual to hose ‘out front’ & have a chat to the neighbours while water was pouring everywhere.

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