The Gold Coast Tugun Desalination Plant is increasing its production, while one of the Gold Coast’s traditional treatment plants is temporarily shut down. The Mudgeeraba water treatment plant has been temporarily shut down for critical infrastructure maintenance. Seqwater Acting Chief Executive Officer Jim Prus, said, “This is about being smart about how we use our water grid assets in the most effective and efficient way possible. “The desalination plant is the best option available to ensure the ongoing supply of a safe and reliable water supply while maintenance is conducted at the Mudgeeraba plant.” The Gold Coast Desalination Plant (GCDP) will produce up to 60 million litres of drinking water per day to supply more than 170,000 residents on the southern Gold Coast. Suburbs to be supplied include Robina, Palm Beach, Currumbin and Mudgeeraba. The plant was built in 2010, and generally operates in ‘hot standby’ mode, ready to increase production if and when required. It is the fourth time since 2015 that the desalination plant has been used to maintain drinking water supply outside of emergencies. Mr Pruss said the desalination plant formed a vital part of the Australian first SEQ Water Grid which connected major water sources across South East Queensland. He said the Mudgeeraba project highlighted the importance of the desalination plant beyond emergencies and drought response. “Having the desalination plant available provides significant security of supply during times when we do need to take major plants offline for upgrades and maintenance,’’ Mr Pruss said. The Gold Coast plant played a significant role during the January 2011 floods and the Australia Day 2013 extreme weather, supplying up to 20 per cent of the region’s drinking water supply. Based on population growth and demand, the plant may be required to supplement peak demand on the Gold Coast during the summer as early as 2019-2020.