Desalination, Will it Work this Time?

By Graham Pinn

In 2022, SEQ water advised that the population growth had brought forward likely water shortages for South East Queensland to as early as 2024. The Labor Government is considering decisions to expand the rarely used Gold Coast desalination facility, and build a new plant on the Sunshine Coast, with completion by 2035. As was the case, with droughts in the early 2000’s, the knee-jerk response, has been undermined by major floods. Relying on faulty Bureau of Meteorology El Nino forecasts, predictions which may now turn into La Nina!!

Australia has throughout its history been a land of drought, floods, and fire, it is recognised as the driest inhabited continent in the world. With another El Nino event supposedly looming, the country’s rapidly expanding population, (the latest estimates have increased from 33 to 36 million by 2050) is putting pressure on water availability. Rather than building new dams, it seems the option of desalination plants is now back on the agenda, as Queensland re-invents a previous, failed policy.

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