Wonthaggi Desalination Plant

The Wonthaggi Desalination Plant (Victorian Desalination Project) is a water desalination plant located on the Bass Coast near Wonthaggi.

The plant went live in September 2012 and created the first drinkable sea water. The pant makes high-quality drinking water from seawater, providing a source of rainfall-independent water.



The plant is the largest in Australia, supplying up to 150 billion litres of water a year to Melbourne, Geelong and some regional communities.

Water from the plant will enter the network through Cardinia Reservoir and from offtakes on its 84-kilometre transfer pipeline. From Cardinia Reservoir the desalinated water can be transferred through Silvan Reservoir to the broader network, depending on how storages are managed.

The desalination pipeline is two-way, so areas in South Gippsland and Western Port can also access the Melbourne supply system if and when required.

The project includes:

a rainfall-independent source of water
150 billion litres of water per year
expandable to 200 billion litres
flexible water supplies (annual ordering from 0 to 150 billion litres in set increments)
highest-quality desalinated water to match Melbourne’s world-class standards
surrounded by a 225ha revegetated coastal park for public use
Australia’s largest living green roof
long tunnels for intake and outlet to protect the coast and beach – 200 billion litre capacity
84-kilometre two-way water transfer pipeline – 200 billion litre capacity
seven pipeline connection points for water delivery to Melbourne and some towns in South Gippsland and Western Port.
87-kilometre underground power supply – 200 billion litre capacity
new communications cable
100 per cent of electricity will be offset by renewable energy
$1 billion boost to Gross State Product
of $1.2 billion in contracts awarded to date, three-quarters are Australian (and two-thirds are Victorian).

Commissioned by the Labor Government due to the drought conditions in 2007, released its water management strategy marketed as Our Water Our Future. As part of the plan, the government announced its intention to develop a seawater reverse osmosis desalination plant to "augment Melbourne's water supply, as well as other regional supply systems

It is a 20 hectare site adjacent to Williamsons Beach on the Bass Coast between Wonthaggi and Kilcunda and near the Powlett River.

The plant is estimated to require between 90 and 120 MW of electricity to operate. Additional energy will be required to pump the desalinated water from Wonthaggi to Cardinia Reservoir.

Over dinner! If the food bowl of Australia relies on the Murray-Darling River system, why don't they (Australian Government) build a Desalination Plant near the northern end of the system and provide a never ending supply of water to Australia's farming community?


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