Water Corporation customers want desalination as first choice for drinking water

Water Corporation customers want desalination as first choice for drinking water

The Water Corporation of Western Australia has found that desalination tops the list as the preferred source for new drinking water for all four of its customer groups.

The result was among insights derived from the agency’s Tap In customer engagement initiative, an 18-month-long research project comprising 45 focus groups, nine customer workshops, and twelve online surveys completed by a total of 7,000 customers.

The four customer segments, covering residential and business customers across metropolitan and regional areas, agree on six of the top 10 issues. Asked, “if you can only choose one source of new drinking water… ?”, 43 per cent opted for desalination. Groundwater replenishment was the first choice for 18 per cent; 16 per cent went for direct potable reuse; 12 per cent for expanding the groundwater network; and 11 per cent other options.

For non-drinking purposes, the top three options were recycled wastewater for irrigation and industry, grey-water recycling for domestic use, and recycling rainwater.

Among the high-level insights from the project are: “We want desalination; recycling has traction; be careful with our groundwater; and maintain standards and water services.”

Tap In was created to help shape the priorities and future investment decisions of the utility.

Australia’s demand for desalination jumps amid drought (August 2018)

Water Corporation prepares to expand Perth desalination plant (November 2017)

“We’re among the hardest hit by a drying climate,” Sue Murphy, Water Corporation (October 2016)


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