Surveys off Alkimos for desalination plant

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The Water Corporation intends to apply for other environmental approvals necessary for a possible desalination plant in Alkimos in late 2018 or early 2019. Illustration only

PLANNING for a possible desalination plant to be built at Alkimos continues with the Water Corporation intending to apply for more environmental approvals for a future plant late this year or early next year.

Water Corporation spokeswoman Louise Fleming said in the coming months the authority planned to complete offshore geophysical and geotechnical surveys off the coast of Alkimos and had applied to the Department of the Environment and Energy for the environmental approvals necessary for the work.

Late last year the authority started discussions with key stakeholders, including the City of Wanneroo about Alkimos as a possible site for a future seawater desalination plant.

“We are now asking the Alkimos community to give us feedback so we can incorporate this into the very early design process,’’ she said.

“These conversations began with the Alkimos community in February 2018 and will remain ongoing over a number of years.

She said because there a wastewater treatment plant in Alkimos there were a number of benefits to having two plants on the same site.

“No firm timing is known for when or where a new source will be required, however we do not expect a major new water source will be needed for at least five years.

“If constructed, a desalination plant in Alkimos would be delivered in stages.

“Initially it would have a capacity to produce 25 billion litres of drinking water a year, with a further 25 billion litres a year in the second stage.

“Ultimately, if constructed, the plant could have capacity of 100 billion litres a year.’’

Water from any future desalination plant would be connected to Perth’s integrated water supply scheme, which in 2016-17 supplied 283 billion litres of drinking water to around two million people.

She said Kwinana was also being considered as a possible site for a future seawater desalination plant.

The potential to build a new desalination plant north and south of Perth was one of the key considerations in the Water Corporation’s long term planning and included in its Water Forever 10-year plan (released in 2012).