Gold Coast desalination plant replacing poor-quality floodwater

In an ironic reversal of its intended use for droughts, the Gold Coast desalination plant in Queensland, Australia, has been brought out of mothballs to provide water at full capacity to replace surface water full of sediment caused by large-scale flooding.

Queensland water minister Stephen Robertson announced on 31 December 2010 that the desalination facility was brought up to full capacity on 29 December after heavy rainfall over the Lockyer Valley and Bremer catchments resulted in large amounts of sediment in floodwaters flowing down the Brisbane River.

“Bringing the desalination plant up to full capacity meant that the flood-associated issues at Mt Crosby could be addressed without compromising water security or quality for Brisbane,” said Robertson. “This supply has been used to replenish reservoirs on the Gold Coast and for pumping into Brisbane via the Southern Regional Water Pipeline, ensuring that supply to Brisbane remains constant and at a high quality.”