Water reuse in Sydney will more than double by 2015

Water reuse in Sydney, Australia, will increase to 70 million m³ in 2015, according to the 2010 Metropolitan Water Plan just published by the New South Wales state government.

The report says that in 2010, about 33 million m³ of water a year was being saved through reuse projects.

Future large-scale water recycling schemes will be delivered in the west of Sydney as its population grows. Smaller-scale and cost-effective schemes that use recycled water sourced from sewer mining, stormwater, greywater, and commercial roof rainwater will continue to provide new opportunities.

Following its two-year proving period, says the report, Sydney’s desalination plant will operate at full production capacity and supply desalinated water to Sydney Water’s area of operations when the total dam storage level is below 70% and will continue to do so until the total dam storage level reaches 80%.

When operating at full capacity, Sydney’s desalination plant can produce up to 90 million m³/year, about 15% of current water needs, based on a long-term average usage of 600 million m³/y. Potential also exists to upscale the plant to 180 million m³/y in response to severe drought and/or population growth.