Water Week

EWN Publishing

Giant desal for Adelaide; bigger Mount Bold reservoir; desal location-options, Pelican Point, Port Stanvac or further south

Posted by waterweek on 17 September 2007

Mike Rann, Premier of South Australia, told the House of Assembly, South Australia, 11 September 2007 of plans to building a desalination plant, and expand a dam, and raise retail water prices, to pay for it. Rann said “In years of abundant rain, Adelaide can draw 90 per cent of its water from rain that is captured in our reservoirs in the Mount Lofty Ranges. In years of average rainfall, 60 per cent of Adelaide’s water comes from rain that falls in the Mount Lofty catchments, while 40 per cent is pumped from the River Murray. It is only in rare years of severe drought that Adelaide relies so heavily on River Murray water, with up to 90 per cent of our water coming directly from the river”.

Water storage capacity in the Hills” Given that water run-off in the Mount Lofty Ranges provides a significant source of Adelaide’s water supply in ordinary years, it makes sense to increase our water storage capacity in the Hills from one year to two years”.

50 gigalitre desalination plant: He said “a..50 gigalitre desalination plant, around the size of the plant operating in Perth, which would supply about 25 per cent of Adelaide’s fresh water, could cost in excess of $1.4 billion”.

Desalination Working Group: The Desalination Working Group had said the final cost will depend on where it is located, how the brine that it will produce is dispersed, where the brine is dispersed and from where the energy to power it is drawn. Given the high cost of stainless steel and the high demand for desalination infrastructure..up is considering the optimal size of a plant for Adelaide, whether it can be built in modules, what the environmental implications are and where it could be built. Wherever a desalination plant is located—whether it is at Pelican Point, near Port Stanvac or further south along the coast—a pipeline to carry the plant’s waste brine would have to be laid out into the waters of the gulf where the currents are best suited to quickly disperse it”.

Five years to build: Rann said:  “A desalination plant would take, I am informed, up to five years to build and connect directly to the supply grid. Allowing for the environmental study, this project is still some years away, although we would look for every opportunity to shorten the time frame without compromising on the success of the project. The Mount Bold proposal to expand storage capacity, was estimated to cost in excess of $850 million.

Water price must rise: “Together, both projects could amount to an investment of more than $2.5 billion, but this is by no means a definitive cost. Of course, water pricing will need to reflect the significant investment in infrastructure. As a result, the government is reviewing its water pricing options, as has previously been announced. The Treasurer informed parliament during estimates hearings this year that capital projects would result in higher prices, while the water security minister in estimates made it clear a review of water pricing structures would be undertaken as part of the long-term planning for water security”.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: