Water Corporation foresight saw WA embrace desal first

Posted on 15 June 2012

How Western Australia led the country in building the first major seawater desalination plant was the subject of a talk by Curtin University Chancellor and former Water Corporation CEO, Dr Jim Gill AO, at Rockingham’s Desal Discovery Centre this month.

Forty visitors from universities, water and desalination organisations around the country listened to Dr Gill’s overview on how the Water Corp identified WA’s critical drying trend and predicted its fast-growing urban water needs could be met by desalination of seawater.

The Perth Seawater Desalination Plant located at Kwinana inspired a further four plants around Australia, and a fifth at Binningup.

Dr Gill said reduced inflows from reservoir dams had adversely impacted water availability from an annual average of 338 GL up until the early 1970s to a low of 57.7 GL since 2006.

By December, half of Perth’s drinking water will come from its two desalination plants.

Dr Gill also officially launched the Desal Discovery Centre’s new ‘Crystal Clear’ 3D movie in conjunction with CEO of the National Centre of Excellence in Desalination Australia, Neil Palmer.

Produced in collaboration with the Water Corporation, the movie takes viewers inside WA’s desal plants and explains the desalination process.

DDC Manager Warren Hays said the Centre continued to experience an increase in the number of schools touring with their science and geography students.

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