Between 1997 and 2007 water supplies in Perth, the capital and largest city in Western Australia, decreased by 65%, leading Perth to commission the Kwinana desalinization plant in late 2006. The plant provides 130 million litres of water a day, and runs on renewable energy supplied by the Emu Downs Wind Farm.
Public pressure compelled the Western Australia Water Corp to utilize renewable energy. Pressure exchangers from Energy Recovery, Inc, an Artemis Top 50 company, save the plant 15.6 MW of energy, reducing energy usage at the plant to 180GWh a year. That’s only 66% of Emu Downs’ 270GWh a year produced from wind.
But the price of water throughout Western Australia continues to climb. The estimated 8% increase in Western Australia, announced today by Opposition Leader Eric Ripper, would complete a 40% increase in the cost of water to households in the past three years.
With their vast coastlines and open spaces, Western Australia can look to the seas for further partnerships between advanced, efficient water technology and sustainable energy like wind and solar.
Leaders in Western Australia seem to be thinking likewise. As Gary Crisp of Western Australia Water Corp said, “I predict that desalination will account for at least half of Perth’s water in the next 30 years.”
Photo credit: Aleatoric Consonance on Flickr