One or even two huge floating desalination plants, to turn seawater into fresh water, were briefly considered as solutions to Auckland’s drought-driven water shortage.

Each of the barges could have supplied 6 per cent of Auckland’s water needs, from a location on Manukau Harbour, but would have come with a big financial and environmental cost.

The desalination barge idea was canvassed in a confidential report to the June meeting of the board of Auckland Council subsidiary Watercare, obtained by Stuff.