Dormant plant is on Victoria supply menu

The Wonthaggi desalination plant at Victoria, Australia has yet to deliver any water but switching on the multibillion-dollar desalination plant has become part of Victoria's water planning as the state remains gripped by drought and extremely high temperatures.

Local newspaper, The Age, reported recently that the Victoria government was calculating the use of the Wonthaggi desalination plant as part of its future water planning. Water Minister Lisa Neville said the plant at Wonthaggi would act as a redoubt for Melbourne's water supplies.

"Let's not pretend the desal is not there, like has happened over the past three years, let's do the planning across the state," Neville said. "We can consider the desal as security," she added.

The water shortage is particularly acute in Victoria's west where storages are down to 30%  and rainfall in some of the region has been the lowest-on-record over the past 18 months.

Storage shortages are leaving 50 towns facing water restrictions, including Colac, Daylesford, Castlemaine, Warragul and Euroa but Melbourne will not be affected.

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