Desal plants fuel hikes

Kwinana desal plant, Perth, Australia. Photo retrieved from: ABC.net

“This comes as Australia seeks to drought-proof its growing cities.

“The Productivity Commission will investigate the financial and environmental impact of Australia’s desalination plants, which will supply nearly a third of capital city water supplies within two years.

“The PC inquiry’s chairwoman, Wendy Craik, yesterday said the costs of desalination plants, including electricity, would be analysed. “We’ll be looking at the costs and benefits of desalination and the impact on prices,” she said.

“State governments are spending $9 billion to build desalination plants in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide and on the Gold Coast. But the energy-guzzling “water factories” are feeding steep increases in water prices, with household bills rising as much as 22 per cent last month.

“Inquiries by The Australian reveal that electricity charges make up half the cost of running Sydney’s new $1.8bn desalination plant at Kurnell, which is powered by a wind farm. Water from the Kurnell plant is costing $2.24 per thousand litres, including the capital cost, debt payments and operating costs.”

read more: The Australian

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