Perth desalination expansion could swap for reuse project

The water minister of Western Australia, Bill Marmion, was quoted in the Australian media on 27 May 2011 as saying that the expansion of the Southern Seawater desalination plant may be indefinitely delayed in favour of more water reuse.

Marmion has written to the Water Corporation seeking fast-tracking of its current Groundwater Replenishment Trial launched in November 2011 to treat 5,000 m³/d of wastewater and pump the effluent into the Gnangara aquifer. The minister said he had been advised by the corporation that, if they could speed up the trial, it would still take 18 months to get all the necessary infrastructure in place.

The Water Corporation says that, with the support of the community, it is possible that groundwater replenishment could contribute up to 28 million m³/year to the Integrated Water Supply Scheme – enough to supply 140,000 homes – before 2020.