Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Hindsight on desalination

I cannot understand the need to keep the Tugun desalination plant in Queensland running at minimum capacity, now that excessive rainfall has rendered this project a white elephant. The idea is that the plant can be brought to full capacity within 72 hours. But is there really a need to bring the plant to full capacity within 72 hours? Would there suddenly be a drought? Would the existing dams suddenly drop to critical level? Wouldn't it be alright to take three months to bring the plant up to full running capacity? Or six months?

I also cannot understand the need for Victoria to build such a huge desalination plant in Wonthaggi. Is there a need to ensure that the whole of Victoria will have enough water to use to everyone's heart's content, to get us through a cyclical drought? As it is such an expensive option, wouldn't it be sufficient to build just a small desal plant to provide enough for emergency needs only? After all, drought comes and goes, if weather patterns are to be believed. And they are.

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