Desalination plants in Australia, review and facts

Elsevier Science B.V.
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Desalination, 2009, 247 (1-3), pp. 1 - 14
Issue Date:
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Australia is the driest continent on earth and despite this the installed desalination capacity is still around 1% of the total world's desalination capacity. This paper reviews the main seawater issues considered in every desalination projectâthe history, the present situation and the future of desalination in Australia, the suitability of applying reverse osmosis (RO) and the project details of two desalination plants (Sydney and Perth). Ocean currents, seawater temperature and salinity are signifi cant indicators in the assessment of the feasibility of desalination as they aff ect the production costs, the maintenance frequency and the quality of the product water. Seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) is the only type of desalination technology currently used or proposed for future large-scale desalination plants in Australia. Every capital city except Darwin has considered building at least one desalination plant as a means of providing water security after several years of unprecedented drought that has signifi cantly reduced dam storage levels. Perth was the fi rst major city to use desalinated water for drinking water supply and by early 2009 Sydney will be the second city. Thirteen other large-scale SWRO plants are being planned or proposed at several locations for the purpose of supplying drinking water.
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