Desalination accepted by most Australians says research

New research showing most Australians accept desalination as a valuable part of the mix augmenting traditional public water supply for water security has been welcomed by the National Centre of Excellence in Desalination Australia (NCEDA), which funded the survey.

Researchers from Deakin, Victoria and Murdoch universities released their report Public Perceptions of, and Responses to, Desalination in Australia at a symposium in Melbourne on 24 August 2012.

NCEDA CEO Neil Palmer said public acceptance of the need for desalination for water security was found to be particularly high in Perth, Western Australia, where nearly half of all public drinking water is now produced from the city's two desalination plants.

Palmer said he expected that acceptance of desalination nationwide would be shown to be even higher if research was conducted during harsh drought years. He added that the report into public perceptions, led by Deakin's Dr Tanya King, also showed there were lessons to be learnt by state governments and project proponents over public consultation on desalination plants.

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