Environment approval for W. Australia desalination project

Western Australia’s water minister, Dr Graham Jacobs, said on 22 April 2009 that he was confident that conditions under which the Water Corporation had been given state government environmental approval to build and operate the Southern Seawater Desalination Project will ensure the plant will meet all environmental objectives.

Dr Jacobs commented following the signing of the environmental approvals for the state’s second large desalter by environment minister Donna Faragher yesterday. The approvals signal the Western Australian government was satisfied the marine and land environmental impacts could be managed appropriately and had cleared the way for several other approvals required for the desalination plant to proceed.

The minister said construction of the 50 million m³/year plant, pipelines and other infrastructure that made up the Aus$ 955 million (US$ 688 million) project could not begin until all outstanding local government, Department of Environment & Conservation and federal approvals had been received.

Federal government environmental approval is currently being assessed by the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage & the Arts and is expected to be completed by the middle of 2009.