A Case Study on Merredin Desalination in Australia
Merredin town, located in Western Australia 's wheat belt, is the subject of detailed groundwater studies. Studies involving groundwater modelling with computers imply that lowering the water table through pumping would effectively control the rising salinity. This salinity could be turned into a resource through desalination to obtain pure water that could be supplied to the town (Australia, 2002).
Scientific modelling shows that, in order to protect the whole town of Merredin, nine bores would have to be dug. Each would produce 50kl/day hence keeping the level of groundwater at a safe depth. This way, the water tables which are currently at 2.5m to 3m beneath would be lowered. As a…show more content… The project is a double success where pumping groundwater will remove the salinity risk and provide a source from which drinking water can be produced. This will also supplement the town water and reduce the pressure and dependency on piped water. Once successful, the project being a pilot programme, would see the installation of an expanded and longer term plant. Similar projects would also be rolled out to other saline towns in WA.
Penneshaw Case Study
South Australian Water Authority runs a reverse osmosis desalination plant at Penneshaw which supplies portable water to the township of Penneshaw on Kangaroo Island. This area used to have farm dams which would be too unreliable for the current populations and too polluted by the agricultural activities going on (Australia, 2002).
This plant is a South African Design and uses RO technology. The design of the plant was to minimise environmental impacts and the use of the chemical cleaners to favour the high tourism activities in the area. Seawater is used as the feedwater with a salinity level of about 39000mg/l. From this plant about 38% of the 250KL of sea water is treated daily and is converted into portable water.
The plant operates on a continuous basis, powered by the mains electricity available to all residents in the area through an underwater power cable from the mainland. The cost of