Sydney desalination plant churning out water even as dams remain full – Australia

Sydney’s $2.3 billion desalination plant is continuing to supply 50 million litres of water a day just weeks after the city’s dams spilled and storage levels remain near full.

New figures from WaterNSW also show Sydney’s main dam at Warragamba collected 1212 gigalitres of inflows from the big rainfall event – or 1,212,000,000,000 litres. That is about 60 per cent of the dam’s capacity.

As the dam was near-full before the deluge across eastern NSW ramped up from March 19, it began spilling within a day.


New Material Makes Salty Water Safe to Drink in Minutes – Sydney

The new innovation developed by scientists in Australia could be the most promising one yet, with researchers using metal-organic framework compounds (or MOFs) together with sunlight to purify water in just half an hour, using a process that’s more efficient than existing techniques, ScienceAlert reported. 

It’s cheap, it’s stable, it’s reusable, and it produces water that meets the World Health Organisation (WHO) standards for desalination.

Around 139.5 litres (nearly 37 gallons) of clean water can be produced per day from a kilogram (2.2 pounds) of MOF material, based on early testing.


Sydney water quality issues keep desal plant running – Australia

Concerns about water quality in Sydney’s main reservoir following last summer’s bushfires have prompted the government to continue to operate the city’s desalination plant even as dams near capacity.

Warragamba Dam on Friday reached 99 per cent capacity after recent rains lifted water levels by one-eighth in a week, WaterNSW data shows.

Across the network, Sydney’s dams were 97.5 per cent full having doubled since February rains effectively ended the region’s drought. Nepean reservoir continues to spill, while most others are more than 94 per cent full.


Utilities bigwig to chair OTTP’s Sydney Desalination Plant – Australia

AGL Energy director and NSW Ports chair Patricia McKenzie has been called into Sydney Desalination Plant to keep its proposed expansion on the political agenda.

It is understood McKenzie has been appointed as Sydney Desalination Plant’s new chair, effective immediately.

McKenzie has 40 years’ experience in NSW’s utilities sector, having previously chaired state owned electricity distribution company Essential Energy and was a director of the now privatised TransGrid and Macquarie Generation.


Desal plant expansion delayed as Sydney no longer in drought – Australia

The Berejiklian government has delayed the expansion of Sydney’s desalination plant, just five months after it moved to double its size to provide more drinking water for the city.

As Sydney is no longer in drought and Warragamba Dam is at 83 per cent capacity, the government is reconsidering its water strategy for the city.

In January, Water Minister Melinda Pavey directed the operators of the plant, in Kurnell in Sydney’s south, to prepare for an expansion “as quickly as practicable”.


Govt halts plans to expand Sydney desal plant – Australia

Last December the government asked the independent regulator IPART to investigate the pricing impact of the planned expansion and announced terms of reference for an investigation of costs and charges.

At the time water minister Melinda Pavey told IPART the government had asked the plant to prepare plans to expand its capacity to produce drinking water, saying this was a key element in protecting Sydney’s water security.

She said expansion of the Kurnell plant should be undertaken “as quickly as practicable to deliver an additional 250 megalitres of drinking water over 12 months”.


Ontario Teachers and UTA acquire TIF’s Sydney desalination plant stake – Ontario

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board and the Utilities Trust of Australia (UTA) have increased their ownership stakes in the Sydney Desalination Plant (SDP) to 60% and 40% respectively.

Ontario Teachers and Morrison & Co, on behalf of UTA, said they have increased their holdings in SDP with their acquisition of The Infrastructure Fund’s (TIF) ownership stake in the plant. Financial details were undisclosed.

SPD, which is Sydney’s only non-rain dependent source of drinking water, supplies up to 15% of the Australian city’s needs.


Gradiant Expands into Australia with Acquisition of CRS Water – Australia

Gradiant today announced its acquisition of Sydney based CRS Water Pty. Ltd, marking the company’s expansion into Australia.

The acquisition enables Gradiant to leverage its proprietary technologies and strong financing capabilities alongside CRS’s project delivery expertise, access to industrial customers, and relationships with leading contractors, corporations and municipalities, facilitating access to Australia’s burgeoning water market.

Bill Kelly, the managing director and founder of CRS Water will continue to lead the company for a two-year transitional period.


Drought remains ‘diabolical’ for most of NSW – Australia

More than 99 per cent of the state remains in drought, despite record rainfall in Sydney which will see the desalination plant switched off next month and water restrictions wound back.

As Sydney recovers from the worst drought on record, the situation is still “diabolical” for most of the state, in what is likely to create tensions in the Coalition ahead of the May budget.

Data presented to the government this week shows 99.4 per cent of NSW is still in drought, with about one-third in the highest category – “intense drought”.


Heavy rains are great news for Sydney’s dams, but they come with a big caveat – Australia

Throughout summer, Sydney’s water storage level fell alarmingly. Level 2 water restrictions were imposed and the New South Wales government prepared to double the capacity of its desalination plant.

But then it began to rain, and rain. Sydney water storages jumped from 41% in early February to 75% now – the highest of any capital city in Australia.This is great news for the city, but it comes with a big caveat.

Floodwaters will undoubtedly wash bushfire debris into reservoirs—possibly overwhelming water treatment systems. We must prepare now for that worst-case pollution scenario.