Keywords: desalination plants, reverse osmosis, urban water supply, Australia, seawater desalination, desalination capacity, brackish water, wastewater reuse
A brief review of desalination in Australia in 2010
Recent climate changes and population growth throughout Australia have highlighted the need for more diverse and climate-independent water sources. Australia is the world's driest inhabited continent and the unpredictable climate means that the Australian population generally requires up to five times the water storage than does an equivalent population in the UK. Although 85% of its people live within 50 km of the coast, the country has only begun to consider large-scale seawater desalination within the past five years (Crisp, 2009). The total potable and industrial water consumption in Australia is around 50,000 ML/d (Hoang, 2009). In 2008, the total volume of water desalinated for potable and industrial use was about 0.6% (300 ML/d) and this is expected to increase more than seven times to 4% by 2013. A brief review of current (2010) desalination capacity in Australia follows and includes major seawater plants, brackish water and wastewater reuse.