S Australia Water identifies potential desalination sites

South Australia Water has identified three potential sites for construction of a desalination plant to supply drinking water supply to the Eyre peninsula.

SA Water chief operating officer John Ringham said on 1 December 2009 that one of the potential sites was located near Cathedral Rocks on the peninsula’s west coast and the other two in the Sleaford Bay area.

“Since May this year we have fast-tracked our investigations into desalination for Eyre Peninsula and have now identified three possible sites for detailed environmental assessments and further community engagement,” Ringham said. “Our investigations considered a number of specific issues such as proximity to existing SA

Water infrastructure, power supply, geotechnical issues, heritage matters and ocean currents,” said Ringham. “The southern locations were more favourable and worthy of detailed analysis because they are in close proximity to power infrastructure and the SA Water supply network, have good ocean currents and the whole of Eyre Peninsula can benefit from water from the plant.”

During 2010, detailed investigations into these sites will take place. A date for first desalinated water from the plant is subject to these investigations, funding and water allocations from southern groundwater basins.

Desalination was one of two water-security strategies recommended in SA Water’s Long Term Plan for Eyre Region completed last year. Investigations into desalination were fast tracked in May 2009 in response to a reduction in water allocations from the region’s southern groundwater basins.