Australia’s desalination centre sited at Murdoch University

Australia’s new National Centre of Excellence in Desalination is to be hosted by Murdoch University’s Rockingham campus as a result of a Aus$ 20 million (US$ 15.5 million) award from the federal government.

The five-year federal funding was announced on 15 May 2009 by Gary Gray, Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Development. It will be topped by up to an extra Aus$ 5 million (US$ 3.9 million) from the Western Australian state government.

Murdoch University vice-chancellor Professor John Yovich said the new centre would draw together the nation’s top scientists in desalination to provide solutions to the water crisis, and build on Murdoch’s historical research strengths in renewable energy, water and environmental sciences.

“This important new national research hub at Murdoch will offer energy-saving solutions to safeguard future water supplies for both consumers and industry,” said Yovich, “and these new technologies will have widespread application for the benefit of all Australians.”

Yovich said the centre’s location would enable immediate use of ready infrastructure including laboratories, offices and pilot plant facilities. It was ideally placed near commercial areas, the coastal strip and major industrial water users at Kwinana, and would be a major boost to the regional city of Rockingham.

A spokesman for one of the international consortium partners, Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), New Mexico, said it was thrilled to hear of Murdoch’s successful bid to host the centre. Murdoch expects to engage with many national and international organisations, including:

  • Affordable Desalination Collaboration, California, USA;
  • Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility, New Mexico;
  • Curtin University of Technology, WA;
  • Edith Cowan University, WA;
  • Flinders University, SA;
  • The Middle East Desalination Research Centre (MEDRC);
  • The University of New South Wales;
  • The University of Queensland;
  • Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico, USA;
  • Singapore’s National Research Foundation;
  • University of South Australia;
  • Victoria University;
  • The University of Western Australia, and;
  • The Water Corporation