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Archive for the ‘desalination’ Category

Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia investigate nuclear plants to power desal

Posted by waterweek on 17 October 2007

Egypt, Libya and Saudi Arabia were all investigating building nuclear plants to power their water schemes – according to US Department of Energy figures, it could take anywhere between 2.8 and 9.8 megawatts of electricity to produce 100,000 litres of drinkable water, wrote Robin Bromby in The Australian (13/10/2007, p.3).

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Posted in desalination, International, Water Week Vol 0415 | Leave a Comment »

Improved dam catchments, recycling stormwater, desal problems not addressed properly in WA water-use debate, says Nationals MP

Posted by waterweek on 17 October 2007

Reducing water use was much more complicated than relatively small initiatives such as more efficient showers and toilets, said Murray Criddle, National Party, in the Legislative Council of Western Australia (4/9/2007).

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Posted in desalination, recycled water, wa, Water Week Vol 0415 | Leave a Comment »

Vox pop: Basic physics ignored in Vic desal idea; needs 300MW base-load power plant to get water to Melbourne

Posted by waterweek on 4 October 2007

To desalinate 150 gigalitres of salt water and pump 150 million tonnes of fresh water from Wonthaggi to the Cardinia Reservoir was going to require a 300-megawatt base-load power plant, wrote Geoff Croker of Ashwood in a letter to The Age (26/9/2007, p.B4). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in australia, desalination, Emissions, Energy, Victoria, water, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

Victorian state government coming under increasing pressure to reject both north-south pipeline and desalination; leave our water alone says Gippsland

Posted by waterweek on 4 October 2007

The Victoria state government was coming under increasing pressure to reject both the north-south pipeline and desalination, said Craig Ingram, Independent Member for Gippsland East, in the Victorian Legislative Assembly on 9 August 2007. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in australia, desalination, water, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

SA based Penrice Soda’s new $500,000 desalination plant: zero waste on salty bore water with $600,000 a year running cost

Posted by waterweek on 3 October 2007

According to Penrice Soda chief executive Guy Roberts, a new $500,000 desalination plant using salty bore water supplied the soda-ash maker with one gigalitre of water since December – 67 per cent of its annual need or enough water for 10,000 Adelaide households for a year, reported The Advertiser, (21/08/2007, p.33).

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Posted in desalination, SA, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

Despite zero water consumption, Melbourne family’s water bill still came to $126 for water service, sewerage and drainage

Posted by waterweek on 2 October 2007

The Steele family had been looking forward to this month’s water bill landing in the letterbox – for good reason, reported The Age (13/8/2007, p. 7).

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Posted in Consumption, desalination, Victoria, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

GE Water, Veolia and Degremont will compete for South Australia and Victorian desalination plants

Posted by waterweek on 28 September 2007

A public-private partnership is the most likely financial arrangement but the VictorianGovernment will not announce the funding deal until later this year reported The Age (7/7/2007). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in australia, desalination, PPP, SA, South Australia, Victoria, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

Benefits of improved technology for seawater desalination wiped out by swift rise of energy costs

Posted by waterweek on 28 September 2007

Great complexities bedevilled the task of getting comparable cost figures for water produced by desalination compared to other water production or savings methods, according to the WWF’s Phil Dickie.

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Posted in desalination, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

Vic’s new Treasurer, John Lenders, decides on $1bn-plus PPP for state’s first desal plant

Posted by waterweek on 28 September 2007

He’s had a long apprenticeship, and now Victoria’s new Treasurer planned to keep the state growing, wrote Duncan Hughes in The Australian Financial Review (27/9/2007, p.69).

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Posted in desalination, Victoria, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

WWF wants conditions set for large scale desalination projects: option of last resort

Posted by waterweek on 28 September 2007

The pioneering work of the World Commission on Dams pointed the way to an assessment process for large scale water infrastructure projects generally, according to the WWF’s Phil Dickie.

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Posted in desalination, International, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

Much going wrong with water use in Arabian Gulf: saner counsels need support against unsustainable development

Posted by waterweek on 28 September 2007

In theory, the long established desalination industry on the relatively enclosed seas surrounding the Arabian peninsula should have provided the ideal real world laboratory for examining some of desalination’s environmental impacts, according to the WWF’s Phil Dickie.

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Posted in desalination, Water Week Vol 0413 | Leave a Comment »

Greens leader wants plebiscites to allow local input on all major infrastructure decisions: pulp mills, desal, nuclear power plants and Queensland council mergers

Posted by waterweek on 27 September 2007

Amendments to the Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Democratic Plebiscites) Bill 2007 deserved support, said Greens leader Senator Bob Brown in the Federal Senate on 17 September 2007.

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Posted in desalination, Federal Election, qld | Leave a Comment »

Seawater desalination costs over three Australian cities could vary from AUD $1.15 to $3.00 a cubic metre of product water (USD $0.95- 2.50)

Posted by waterweek on 27 September 2007

Consultants to the Australian Prime Minister on water supply options for Australian cities noted that low cost water supply options depended on “favourable locations and situations” for the options, wrote the WWF’s Phil Dickie.

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Posted in desalination, Water Week Vol 0412 | Leave a Comment »

Vict Govt opts for PPP model to design, build and operate new desal plant by 2011

Posted by waterweek on 27 September 2007

The Victorian Government opted for a public private partnership (PPP) model to design, build and operate the new desalination plant by 2011, reported The Australian (22/9/2007, p.41).

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Posted in desalination, Water Week Vol 0412 | Leave a Comment »

Melbourne’s desalination: environmental vandalism and economic madness: cheaper to pipe water 350k from Tasmania Lake Margaret, across Bass Strait

Posted by waterweek on 26 September 2007

Brumby has inherited one of the most extraordinary decisions of the Bracks government – to invest about $3 billion in a desalination plant in Wonthaggi and another $1 billion to pipe water over the Great Divide into the Melbourne reticulation system, reported The Age, (2/8/2007, p.15).

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Posted in desalination, Water Week Vol 0412 | 1 Comment »

Seawater desalination plants: major direct impacts concern costal sensitivity, high energy demand, intake and outflow structures and effluent issues

Posted by waterweek on 25 September 2007

Desalination infrastructure should proceed only where plants are sited, constructed and operated to minimise adverse environmental impacts, according to the WWF’s Phil Dickie.

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Posted in desalination, Water Week Vol 0412 | Leave a Comment »

Arabian Gulf and Red Sea desalination model using subsidised natural gas distorts choices, encourages inefficient technologies, says World Bank

Posted by waterweek on 25 September 2007

More than 50 per cent of the world’s total desalination capacity was located around the Arabian Gulf and a large proportion of the remainder took water from the Red Sea and eastern Mediterranean, wrote the WWF’s Phil Dickie.

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Posted in desalination, Water Week Vol 0412 | Leave a Comment »

Pollution fears: discharges from desalination plants include phospinocarboxylic acid, Sodium metabisulphite 2 dibromo–3–nitrilopropionamide, acidic detergents

Posted by waterweek on 25 September 2007

The paper ‘Making Water – Desalination option or distraction for a thirsty world?’, June 2007, warned ocean or water discharges from desalination plants, would include phospinocarboxylic acid, Sodium metabisulphite 2 dibromo–3–nitrilopropionamide and acidic detergents. These were cleaning chemicals for membranes, reported the author Phil Dickie, of the WWF.

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Posted in desalination, Water Week Vol 0412 | Leave a Comment »

Power hungry seawater desalination adds to CO2 emissions: Reverse Osmosis at 1.78kg of CO2/m3 clear winner over thermal distillation

Posted by waterweek on 25 September 2007

Regarding the contribution of emissions to climate change, seawater desalination – in most cases the most energy intensive of potential water sources – would add in a significant way to an existing process, said the WWF’s Phil Dickie. A comparison of the emissions intensity of various desalination technologies – using an average European fuel mix for power generation – showed the great advantage of;

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Posted in desalination, Water Week Vol 0412 | Leave a Comment »

Adel­aide should be securing its own core independent water supply and possibly building three or four water desalination plants: Leader editorial in Advertiser

Posted by waterweek on 21 September 2007

The State Government needed to understand the financing of water infrastructure such as desalination plants was not simply a public sector issue, according to The Advertiser (7/9/2007, p.18).

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Posted in Bursts, desalination, Policy, Public Opinion, River Murray, Water Markets, Water Security, Water Trade, Water Week Vol 0411 | Leave a Comment »

Victoria’s desal a public-private partnership; five firms line-up for $1.6b bonanza of guaranteed cash-flow

Posted by waterweek on 20 September 2007

According to Duncan Hughes, at least half of Victoria’s $3.1 billion desalination plant, the country’s largest, would be delivered as a public-private partnership, Victorian Premier John Brumby said on 19 September, reported The Australian Financial Review (20/9/2007, p.3). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in desalination, Marine, New Plants, Pipeline, Policy, Victoria, water, Water Week Vol 0411 | Leave a Comment »

17 September: disaster-fears as Melbourne’s water storages 38.9 per cent of capacity, 8 percentage points below the 46.6 per cent level of September 2006

Posted by waterweek on 19 September 2007

Melbourne’s water storages were at 38.9 per cent of capacity nearly 8 percentage points below the 46.6 per cent level of September 2006. Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu seized on the figures, warn­ing that Melburnians should not think the worst was behind them. One option to can­cel 20 billion litres of environ­ment flows for the Thomson and Yarra rivers. This represents three or four weeks of average consumption for the city of Melbourne.

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Posted in desalination, Drought, Emergency, Environmental Flows, Pipeline, Policy, Water Week Vol 0411 | Leave a Comment »

SA State Government urged to run proposed Adelaide desalination plant on nuclear power

Posted by waterweek on 18 September 2007

According to Craig Bildstien, the City editor of The Advertiser (13/9/07, p. 23), the State Government has been urged to run its proposed Adelaide desalination plant on nuclear power.

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Posted in desalination, Energy, Federal Election, SA, Water Week Vol 0411 | Leave a Comment »

Victoria Latrobe Valley power stations water buyers for a second year after from Blue Rock irrigators after low inflows, sabotaged allocations

Posted by waterweek on 18 September 2007

The Latrobe Valley power stations supply 85 per cent of Victoria’s electricity and use about 140 billion litres of water a year. They receive an annual allocation from Blue Rock dam under an agreement with the State Government. But the water crisis has hit Victoria’s power sector hard over the past financial year. Two major Latrobe generators – Yallourn and Loy Yang B- bought emergency supplies over the internet from Blue Rock irrigators because low inflows sabotaged their allocations. In June, The Age revealed that the power stations were investigating alternatives. A State Government-commissioned study explored options including on-site desalination plants and dry cooling systems, reported The Age, (10/9/2007), p. 4.

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Posted in Allocations, Dams, desalination, Emergency, Irrigation, Price, Victoria, Water Week Vol 0411 | Leave a Comment »

Sea-water into drinking water cheaper than desal, at 5-12 kW/cubic metre of water: new-idea, biomimetics;1.6 kwh/cubic metre

Posted by waterweek on 17 September 2007

“It’s often the case that green technology is considered to be commercially unattractive,” says Michael Pawlyn, an architect at Grimshaw, the firm behind the Eden project, a highly acclaimed biome structure in England, reported The Economist (8/9/07, p. 25).

Beetles the key?: That perception, he says, was wrong – and he has the designs to prove it. This meant finding a way to turn sea-water into clean drinking water without expending too much energy. Fog-basking beetles, which are found in Namibia, have an ingeniously simple way of doing this. They hide underground during the day so that when they come out at night, their dark backs are relatively cool compared with the ambient night air. As moisture-laden breezes roll in from the Atlantic, the water in the air condenses on the beetle’s back (just as a cold bottle of beer left on a table causes water in the air to condense on its surface). The beetles simply have to tilt their bodies to make the water trickle into their mouths.

Or camels?: A similar trick was also used by camels to prevent them from losing moisture as they exhale. Moisture secreted through the nostrils evaporated as the camel breathed in, cooling the nostrils in the process. When the camel breathed out, moisture within the air then condenses on the nostrils.

Inspired by camels’ nostrils: Inspired by this, Pawlyn and his colleagues have designed their theatre around the same principles. A series of tall, vertical evaptoration “gills” were positioned so that they face towards the sea and the incoming coastal breeze. Warm seawater, taken from close to the surface, would be pumped so that it trickles down these units. As the breeze blew through the gills some of the sea-water would evaporate, leaving salt behind. The clean, moist air would then continue down its journey until it encounters a series of vertical condensing pipes. These would be kept cold by pumping deep-sea water, from 1,000 metres below the surface, through them. As the moist, warm air hit the pipes the water condensed and trickled down to be collected.

1.6 kWh/cubic metre needed: “You get a very powerful desalination effect,” said Pawlyn. This system was able to supply enough water for the 70,000-square-metre complex. A traditional flash-distillation desalination plant consumed between five and 12 kilowatt hours (kwh) of energy per cubic metre of water. The biomimetic approach, however, required just 1.6 kwh per cubic metre. And since the water pumps would be mostly powered by a wind turbine, driven by the same prevailing winds that provide the plant’s airflow, the overall energy consumption of the site was reduced even further. In the process, the same system can also help to cool neighbouring buildings, said Pawlyn.

Posted in desalination, New ideas, Price, Water Week Vol 0411 | Leave a Comment »

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”.

Posted in desalination, Policy, Price, SA, Water Week Vol 0411 | Leave a Comment »

SA Premier commits 20 per cent of the South Australian budget to desal plant off Gulf St Vincent, about 1000km north of the city, and a raised dam wall

Posted by waterweek on 17 September 2007

Mike Rann on 11 September committed his Government to the biggest infrastructure project in South Australia’s history – a $2.5 billion water supply upgrade for Adelaide – but immediately faced criticism for “making policy on the run”. Rann pledged to build a desalination plant and double the volume of Adelaide’s stored water, but could not say when the projects would be delivered. Within five years, Adelaide could have a desalination plant on the coast of Gulf St Vincent, about 1000km north of the city, and a raised dam wall for the Mount Bold reservoir, southeast of the capital. The plant would provide about a quarter of Adelaide’s current water supplies, reported The Australian, (12/9/2007), p. 9.

Disaster ahead: In a bald assessment of Adelaide’s predicament – the city is currently sourcing 90 per cent of its water from dwindling Murray River supplies – Rann said the projects were “the only real choices” left. But it faced many future hurdles, with final cost, engineering and environmental components of the plan yet to be determined. Rann said a “final decision” would be made by Cabinet in November, after receipt of an expert’s report by a government working group. The preliminary estimate of a $2.5 billion price tag nominated by Rann represents more than 20 per cent of the South Australian budget If adopted the plan would almost double Adelaide’s available water supply, assuming adequate water falls in the Adelaide Hills catchment.

Posted in Dams, desalination, Policy, Price, SA, Water Week Vol 0411 | Leave a Comment »

South Australian desalination plant at Cape Jervis could be linked to wave and wind power, argues MP

Posted by waterweek on 17 September 2007

 Michael Pengilly said in the South Australian House of Assembly on 12 September 2007 that he supported siting any desalination plant to supply water to Adelaide at Cape Jervis.

Deep water and infrastructure support: “My reason for putting forward that option is that … [experts] have talked about the brine going into the gulf and having to put in a long pipeline, etc.,” said Pengilly. “My view is that, if you put the desalination plant at Cape Jervis in what is very deep water — 300 feet just off Cape Jervis — you do not have a problem with the brine because of the exceptional flow up and down Backstairs Passage. It also has the environmental advantage of Starfish Hill wind farm, which could be used and which could be expanded to augment the power for the desalination plant. You could also put in a supply line through the western Fleurieu.”

Viable alternative: Pengilly said water could be pumped to Myponga and put through a filtration plant, whether at Cape Jervis or Myponga. He pointed out that the water from Myponga came back to Sellicks Beach and to Happy Valley reservoir. “We will have to put in a vast amount of infrastructure, whatever we do, Pengilly said. “Bear in mind that the current desalination plant at Penneshaw (which is just across the other side) already drops its brine into deep water and it is only a small plant. I believe that it actually could be a viable alternative to the suggested ideas that have been put forward both by the opposition and the government, without any firm target at this stage of where to put such a desalination plant. If we are half smart about this, we will think it through and get the best possible outcome for South Australians.”

Cost blowout: “I am concerned that today the Minister for Infrastructure did not refute the blow-out to $1.6 billion. Where will the costings come from? This thing will cost a lot of money. It will take a lot of power. The option of using some electricity from Starfish Hill and the option of looking at wave power generated through Backstairs Passage as well should be considered, he said

Southern development opportunity: Calling on the state government to consider opposition ideas, Pengilly said that as well as extremely deep water in the Cape Jervis area, the added benefit of providing water to the south, coming through from Cape Jervis, needed to be thought about. “The south is developing rapidly, he said. “Myponga Dam currently services Goolwa, Yankalilla, Normanville and Victor Harbor; and some water does go back into the Sellicks Beach area. The dam is being underutilised. The government had announced already that there is a major upgrade to filtration down there. Quite clearly, if a desalination plant is built, we would have to have a bigger filtration plant. No-one argues about that in any way, shape or form. However, I am concerned that there is not much vision in this government. It does not want to think too far past whatever ideas are thrown up within its own ranks. I am throwing up this idea in the best interests of South Australia. It is a good possibility,” concluded Pengilly.

Reference: Michael Pengilly, Member for Finniss, House of Assembly, South Australia, 12 September 2007.

Posted in desalination, Energy, SA, Water Week Vol 0411 | Leave a Comment »

South Australia Yorke Peninsula, council project builds a sea water desalination plant; cheaper than $13.70 per kilolitre of water trucked – in

Posted by waterweek on 17 September 2007

Steven Griffiths, Member for Goyder, told the House of Assembly, South Australia, 11 September 2007 a the Yorke Peninsula Marion Bay community had built a sea water desalination plant. Marion Bay was one of 16 communities on Yorke Peninsula that did not have access to a reticulated water supply.

Holiday water – problems: Marion Bay has only 150 permanent residents, but in summer time closer to 1 000 people reside there. It is adjacent to the Innes National Park, which has 130 000 visitors per year. At least 200 new homes have been built in the last 10 years. Marion Bay does get some form of piped water supply from a very poor quality bore probably 10 kilometres out of town.

$13.70 per kilolitre of water: However, that water is very hard in minerals,. The award winning Marion Bay Tavern was always suffering from water problems and paying up to $13.70 per kilolitre of water to be carted from the nearest standpipe, which was about 40 kilometres away. As a conservative estimate, about $30 000 per year was spent by the caravan park in Marion Bay to replace the hot water services which were being ruined because of the minerals in the bore waters, and the pipes to the public toilets were constantly being blocked by mineral build-up”.

Reference: Steven Griffiths, Member for Goyder, House of Assembly, South Australia, 11 September 2007.

Erisk Net

Posted in Cartage, desalination, Price, SA, Water Week Vol 0411 | 1 Comment »

Adelaide could run out of water by the summer of 2008-09; above-average rainfall required next winter in Murray-Darling Basin

Posted by waterweek on 14 September 2007

Adelaide could run out of water by the summer of 2008-09 after disappointing rains this winter failed to recharge the city’s main supply from the Murray River, reported The Australian (5/9/2007, p.6).

Sudden torrent required, or else: The catastrophe of residents of the South Australian capital forced to rely on emergency supplies of water from January 2009 can be averted only by well-above-average rainfall next winter in the Murray-Darling Basin. However, the chances of the city’s estimated eight months of storage being replenished before next winter are fading because the likelihood of above-average rain over the next three months is low.

Eight months emergency supply for Adelaide: SA Water had already pumped an extra 60 gigalitres of water to top up the city’s reservoirs as a buffer against further deterioration of water quality in the Murray. Currently filled to about 80 per cent of capacity, they provide eight months’ water supply for Adelaide and will operate as a final emergency tank if supplies from the Murray run out.

BHP desalination plant plan at Spencer Gulf: Whyalla mayor Jim Pollock said he was increasingly concerned about his region’s reliance on water piped from Morgan, at the bottom of the Murray River. He said the community could look at switching supply to the BHP desalination plant proposed at the top of Spencer Gulf to supply the expansion to the uranium mine at Roxby Downs. “We’ve got to take what comes out of the tap, but if conditions worsen then it’s time for us to speak to the authorities to find out what measures they’ve got in place for us,” he said.

The Australian, 5/9/2007, p. 6

Posted in australia, desalination, Drought, Emergency, mdb, SA, water, Water Week Vol 0411 | Leave a Comment »