This is bloody good news.
Premier of the State of West Australia, Alan Carpenter, has announced that a second seawater desalination plant powered by renewable energy will be Western Australia’s next major water source.
In making the announcement, Mr Carpenter shelved Water Corporation plans to utilise the South West Yarragadee aquifer for the integrated water supply system.
“The internationally acclaimed wind-powered Kwinana seawater desalination plant has demonstrated that large quantities of water from an unlimited ocean supply can be provided using a clean and green process,” the Premier said.
“Unlike SW Yarragadee and traditional water sources, it is also climate independent.
The proposed site for a second desalination plant is at a Water Corporation wastewater treatment facility on Taranto Road north of Binningup – adjacent to a disused limestone quarry. It is expected to have minimal environmental and visual impact on the area, but will be subject to the usual approval processes.
The new plant will provide at least 45 gigalitres of water a year into the integrated water supply system by the end of 2011, with potential to increase to 100 gigalitres. Similar to the Kwinana plant, it will be powered by renewable energy.
“We can no longer rely on traditional, seasonal climate patterns and rainfall,” the Premier said.
“Seawater desalination is clearly the best long term feasible and practical option for our State, along with more water recycling initiatives.
The Premier said that while the SW Yarragadee aquifer had effectively received environmental approval, it remained a source that was still reliant on climate and rainfall.
“More work therefore needs to be done on assessing the full impact of climate change and declining rainfall on the south west and on the SW Yarragadee aquifer,” Mr Carpenter said.
He said the Government was also actively researching a major aquifer recharge recycling project north of Perth, which had the potential to yield an extra 25 gigalitres.