Jersey plans desalination boost

Channel Island water utility, Jersey Water, is proposing a £6million extension to its 6 Ml/d, seawater reverse osmosis desalination plant at La Rosière, Corbiere, at the south-west corner of the island to cope with a “once in fifty years” severe drought.

Jersey Water’s managing director, Howard Snowden, said, if planners approve the company’s application to upgrade the desalination plant, work could begin later this year. However plans to upgrade the plant – which was built in 1999 - will only protect the island for the next ten years.

The company said bills will not rise to pay for the work.

The upgrade proposals would increase the plant’s output capacity to 10.8 Ml/d and reduce energy consumption by a 36%.

The last hosepipe ban in the island, as a result of drought, was in 2003. The company said the current facility would not be able to cope if there was a severe drought – which experts have predicted will hit Jersey once every half century.