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Western Australia says no to desalination plant expansion

With parts of Western Australia in the grip of a severe water shortage, the state government is looking at recycling as an option to ease the crisis. Perth has received a mere 100 millimeters of rainfall this year with the region’s dams just 20 per cent full.

WA Water Minister Bill Marmion is looking to speed up the two-year sewage treatment trial. Launched late last year, this trial treats five megalitres of waste water every day and pumps it into the aquifer near Beenyup.

Water Corporation expects the ‘speeded-up’ trial to still take 18 months. The treatment includies removal of bacteria and chemicals prior to blending it with existing groundwater.

The fall out of this programme will likely impact the second stage of Southern Seawater Desalination plant at Binningup. Later this year, the first stage will deliver 50 gigalitres of water to Perth annually.

The design, construction and operation of this, the state’s second desalination plant, was awarded to the Southern SeaWater Alliance (SSWA). The SSWA comprises of Tecnicas Reunidas, Valoriza Agua, AJ Lucas, WorleyParsons and the Water Corporation.

In Perth Now, Marmion is quoted as saying the second stage of Binningup desalination plant could be put off indefinitely."Stage two could be an option forever, it may not happen if you don’t need it but it’s one of those options we look at," he remarked.

[Image above courtesy Water Corporation.]

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