COM: Port Stanvac Desalination Plant | 100gL | $1.8b

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omada
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Re: Desalination plant for Adelaide

#196 Post by omada » Mon May 11, 2009 8:56 pm

Cruise wrote:

loud wrote:

deano91 wrote:I think I remember hearing somewhere, and I'm not sure if my brain is just making this up, but I thought someone a while back on the tv or radio or something said that doubling the size of the desal plant should mean that we should not need to rely on the Murray at all? Anyone have any idea if this is true?



Rann mentioned something about it, and that we would be able to drop the water restriction policy. I for one, do not believe that we should cancel water restrictions...

Sure, slacken them a bit so people can wash their cars again and maybe increase the amount of time we are allowed to water our gardens, etc... but to remove them completely is how we got in this mess in the first place.



I pay the water bill, so i'll do whatever the hell i want with it.



That has to be the single most ignorant thing I have read in quite some time. It is people with attitudes like your's that will also be the first to complain when they can't get access to clean drinking water 7 days a week...
Totally agree with Loud on this one, were you taking the piss Cruise?

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Re: Desalination plant for Adelaide

#197 Post by crawf » Tue May 12, 2009 8:00 am

Wayno wrote:An expanded desal plant will supply 50% of our water needs - which is how much we draw from the murray today. The other 50% is supplied by Adelaide Hills catchment (yes, even in these drought years).

Of course this is based on today. Expand our population by 25+% (and remove water restrictions) and we'll be feeding from the teat of the murray again, unless the drought breaks AND we build much larger storage dams AND/OR get serious about wetlands and recycled water usage.
Mt Bold Reservoir is going to be doubled in size.

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Re: Desalination plant for Adelaide

#198 Post by Wayno » Tue May 12, 2009 8:33 am

crawf wrote:Mt Bold Reservoir is going to be doubled in size.
Are there firm timelines for this development? I believe this plan is currently documented on the back of a paper napkin.
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Re: Desalination plant for Adelaide

#199 Post by crawf » Tue May 12, 2009 11:48 am

I think we will hear more about it next decade, once the $1.9bn densal plant is complete.

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Re: Desalination plant for Adelaide

#200 Post by Benski81 » Tue May 12, 2009 1:21 pm

Cruise wrote:
loud wrote:
deano91 wrote:I think I remember hearing somewhere, and I'm not sure if my brain is just making this up, but I thought someone a while back on the tv or radio or something said that doubling the size of the desal plant should mean that we should not need to rely on the Murray at all? Anyone have any idea if this is true?
Rann mentioned something about it, and that we would be able to drop the water restriction policy. I for one, do not believe that we should cancel water restrictions...

Sure, slacken them a bit so people can wash their cars again and maybe increase the amount of time we are allowed to water our gardens, etc... but to remove them completely is how we got in this mess in the first place.
I pay the water bill, so i'll do whatever the hell i want with it.
yeah cruise i have to agree, you're a price taker in this market if you and enough other people take that attitude your demand will well outstrip supply pusing up the price. It's economics 101 and you as the water bill payer will just end up paying more.

Were you being sarcastic?

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Re: Desalination plant for Adelaide

#201 Post by Aidan » Tue May 12, 2009 4:18 pm

loud wrote:
Cruise wrote: I pay the water bill, so i'll do whatever the hell i want with it.
That has to be the single most ignorant thing I have read in quite some time. It is people with attitudes like your's that will also be the first to complain when they can't get access to clean drinking water 7 days a week...
Following up something you claim to be ignorant by something that is genuinely ignorant (the prediction that we'll lose constant access to clean drinking water) doesn't improve things, and has no chance of changing Cruise's attitude.

Cruise, desalinated water is significantly more expensive than the drinking water sourced from rivers and bores. So if we use more water, the ratio of desalinated to river and bore derived water will go up, and therefore the price of water will also rise.
crawf wrote: Mt Bold Reservoir is going to be doubled in size.
That seems like a bad idea to me. Firstly the land around Mount Bold reservoir is of high conservation value, as there's very little natural rainforest type environment left in the Adelaide region. That's not just due to deforestation - rather there were few sufficiently wet areas to start with.

Secondly, when was the last time the Onkaparinga had enough rainwater going into it to fill Mount Bold Reservoir? Unless we get a week long deluge in the Hills, or an even more unlikely flood in the Murray, the water just won't be there.

However, immediate doubling of the new desalination plant's capacity would be equally stupid. The price of desalinated water is likely to come down over the next few decades as capacitative deionization (CDI) gets commercialized. Currently this technology is only in the experimental stage, but SA water are aware of it.

Also, a double size desalination plant would require a lot of new pipework to bring the water to the rest of Adelaide, whereas with a single size one, only a pipe to the existing Happy Valley storage tanks would be needed - the existing reticulation system would be sufficient from there.

Much better alternatives exist: constructing the Turretfield reservoir on the North Para would increase supply while simultaneously reducing the flood risk. And I doubt anyone could deny that greater use of aquifer storage and recovery makes sense.

We do need some desalination capacity now - but 100GL/year is a needless extravagance.
Just build it wrote:Bye Union Hall. I'll see you in another life, when we are both cats.

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Re: Desalination plant for Adelaide

#202 Post by rubberman » Tue May 12, 2009 9:10 pm

Why do you say 100 ML/Day is an extravagance?

The city has expanded 25% since the last major piece of infrastructure, there should be some allowance for future growth, and I guess if you believe that there is climate change reducing natural catchment intake from rainfall, there is an even bigger shortage. 50% seems on the face of it to be about right.

Oh, and BTW the energy footprint of the water industry in Australia today is about one third of the energy used in providing hot water. If ALL water was derived from desalination, it would still be only about two thirds of the energy used in providing hot water. Substitution of cold water for washing clothes, solar heating and shorter showers literally would offset a total change to desal for all water.

NOT that I am advocating that, merely pointing it out as a relevant factor in the scheme of things.

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Re: Desalination plant for Adelaide

#203 Post by Aidan » Tue May 12, 2009 10:09 pm

rubberman wrote:Why do you say 100 ML/Day is an extravagance?
Because there's still enough rain in the Adelaide Hills that we can supply it more cheaply from that.
The city has expanded 25% since the last major piece of infrastructure, there should be some allowance for future growth, and I guess if you believe that there is climate change reducing natural catchment intake from rainfall, there is an even bigger shortage. 50% seems on the face of it to be about right.
That's why we're building a desalination plant. But there's no point building capacity that we're not going to need. If it turns out we do need the extra capacity later, we can build it later. And due to advancing technology, delaying building it until later would probably make it cheaper both to build and to run.

Meanwhile, there's no shortage of other infrastructure projects that the money can more urgently be used for.
Oh, and BTW the energy footprint of the water industry in Australia today is about one third of the energy used in providing hot water. If ALL water was derived from desalination, it would still be only about two thirds of the energy used in providing hot water. Substitution of cold water for washing clothes, solar heating and shorter showers literally would offset a total change to desal for all water.

NOT that I am advocating that, merely pointing it out as a relevant factor in the scheme of things.
That still doesn't change the fact that desalination is far more expensive. And excess desalination capacity is a needless expense while there are other options available.
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Re: Desalination plant for Adelaide

#204 Post by rubberman » Wed May 13, 2009 7:24 am

Well, yes Aidan, there is more and cheaper water available in the Adelaide Hills - harvested by raising Mt Bold. However, that is still subject to climate variation.

While there are also options in demand management and water recycling, those were traditionally part of the risk management strategy needed for a large city. ie it used to be that infrastructure would be sized above what is required by a certain percentage, and the likelihood of climate variation leading to lower supplies buffered by the ability to demand manage and recycle. Now if you want to use the demand management and recycling for normal supply, you still have to provide something of equal capacity to maintain the same risk profile. OR explicitly argue why you think it is reasonable to increase supply loss risk.

Unless you make a case for that risk increase, you still need to build the infrastructure - in case it is needed. Our only guarantee against water inflow variation is to have some other source on stand by - not wait for two or three years while the city has no water. That is preposterous and any informed debate would never conclude it reasonable.

So whatever the demand management or water recycling you need to build either a dam or a desal plant.

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Re: Desalination plant for Adelaide

#205 Post by Aidan » Wed May 13, 2009 3:29 pm

rubberman wrote:Well, yes Aidan, there is more and cheaper water available in the Adelaide Hills - harvested by raising Mt Bold. However, that is still subject to climate variation.
Raising Mt Bold would not be a very effective way of harvesting more water. There hasn't been a surplus of water in the Onkaparinga for years, so we keep having to top it up from the Murray. As I said before, without a lot more rain in the Adelaide Hills or the Murray Darling Basin, expanding the Mount Bold reservoir would be useless.

Building Turretfield would be a very effective way of harvesting more water, as there is often a surplus of water in the North Para which does not currently have any reservoirs build on it.

Now before we go any further, let me clarify one thing you seem to have trouble comprehending: I fully support a 50GL/y desalination plant. But I strongly oppose wasting money on doubling its capacity.

The UniSA Civil Engineering degree I've just done included a lot about water engineering, so I do know about risk management and I'm not suggesting we put up with an inadequate supply. Yes we need a desalination plant, but we don't need it to be our only option for increasing supply.

As well as failing to harvest water from the North Para, we're also failing to take advantage of the aquifers beneath Adelaide. Currently we're not taking much water out (although there are plans to do so if the drought gets more severe) and more importantly, we're not putting much in. Salisbury council's done well, but the rest of Adelaide hasn't. I'd like to see more use of aquifer storage and recovery on a large scale, but there are also small things that can be done to increase infiltration, such as putting in more swales in suburban streets rather than relying on concrete channels and pipes for drainage.
Unless you make a case for that risk increase, you still need to build the infrastructure - in case it is needed. Our only guarantee against water inflow variation is to have some other source on stand by - not wait for two or three years while the city has no water. That is preposterous and any informed debate would never conclude it reasonable.
Informed debate includes properly examining your opponent's views and not resorting to strawmen!
So whatever the demand management or water recycling you need to build either a dam or a desal plant.
And I'm suggesting we do both, and make more use of stormwater as well!
Just build it wrote:Bye Union Hall. I'll see you in another life, when we are both cats.

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Re: Desalination plant for Adelaide

#206 Post by deano91 » Wed May 13, 2009 3:32 pm

Link for the flythrough of the desal plant:

http://player.video.news.com.au/adelaid ... _OdUIiVjiC

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Re: Desalination plant for Adelaide

#207 Post by crawf » Wed May 13, 2009 4:03 pm

Desal expansion 'will end water restrictions'
http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/stor ... 01,00.html

Premier Mike Rann said funding to double the size of the Port Stanvac desalination plant would give SA "water security for decades to come".

"I'm absolutely delighted that the Federal Government has agreed to join with us in co-funding the doubling of the desal plant ... from a 50-gigalitre plant to a 100GL plant that is capable of providing 50 per cent of Adelaide's water needs," Mr Rann said.

"If you've got 50 per cent of Adelaide's water supply not coming from the heavens and not coming from the River Murray, it means that we can effectively end water restrictions.

"This gives us independence from rain and independence from the River Murray as we've never seen before."

He said the first water would become available from the desalination plant at the end of 2010, with the full 100GL flowing by the end of 2012.

"In addition to meeting critical human needs, the expansion will provide environmental benefits to the Murray River which has recorded record low inflows in the last few years."

Funding will be provided on the basis that the expanded project provides improved water security for Adelaide and a reduced dependence on the Murray River.
Great news, strict water restrictions have been killing this city during summer.

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Re: Desalination plant for Adelaide

#208 Post by Wayno » Wed May 13, 2009 5:08 pm

i'm all for an expanded desal plant if 100gl = more water into the Lower Lakes. What's the price for that benefit?
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Re: Desalination plant for Adelaide

#209 Post by Aidan » Wed May 13, 2009 6:40 pm

Wayno wrote:i'm all for an expanded desal plant if 100gl = more water into the Lower Lakes. What's the price for that benefit?
Not much if they let seawater into the lakes first. Do you really think they can hold off from doing so until the desal plant is built? Or that the amount of extra water for the lower lakes would be enough to make a crucial difference? Adelaide's take is actually very small, and an estimated 800GL evaporates from the lower lakes every year.
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Re: Desalination plant for Adelaide

#210 Post by rubberman » Wed May 13, 2009 7:04 pm

Hi Aidan,

First of all, let me commend you for just completing a UniSA Civil Engineering Degree. Keep up the good work! Becoming a Chartered Engineer is the next step, and well worth the few years it will take for you to become experienced. Although it was some time ago for me, I still am amazed at how much I still had to learn after just completing an Adelaide Uni Civil Engineering Degree (with Honours) and an MEngSc in Hydrology and Water Resources. Not to mention an MBA a few years later on. *sigh* those were the days.

However, you should really direct your arguments to SA Water and their engineers - I am a mere interested bystander. Since you claim some expertise, by all means, point me to the technical reports on which you base your assertions. I assure you that after many years in the water industry - I will be able to understand 'em all.

Interesting that you mentioned ASR. I actually worked with a young bloke called Peter Dillon in the Water Resources Branch of the EWS Dept (now SA Water) after he graduated and before he went back and got his PhD. I also worked with him (he was consulting for us) a couple of years ago on a SAT scheme which then stored the water in a local aquifer - I was the whoa to go project manager. Funnily enough, I also recall the network of bores that EWS Dept had round the western suburbs. I actually dismantled a few of them (or should I say some of the fitters that worked for me dismantled them) in the late seventies after they had lain idle for some time (the bores, not the fitters). Of course, the problem with using them was that since there was urban development over the top of them, one of the barriers (you know about them of course) of protecting the catchment is a little problematical. Which of course meant that the water would need treatment before being suitable for potable use - alternatively you can set up a third pipe. Nonetheless, I also was construction engineer on an interstate project that did just that - over ten years ago now. Fancy me forgetting. Isn't it remarkable what can be done? You can certainly look forward to an interesting time actually doing the work as you become more experienced.

So, by all means if you have figures that justify your assertion that SA Water has it wrong and you have it right, by all means link us to them. I assure you that with a little stretch, I could assuredly understand. And if your calcs are right - even agree with you.

Just be wary of making definite statements though. Someone may call you on them and ask for the calcs. :)

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