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Victorias proposed DESALINATION plant


A long way to the power stations. Strong local concern. 1200 at 'Stand in the Sand' ... Millions of Government dollars go into advertising their plan as an essential ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Victorias proposed DESALINATION plant

Victorias proposed DESALINATION plant an
energy guzzling, climate changing, ecosystem
altering water factory catch the
water falling on Melbournes roofs - Bob Brown,
Nov 18, 2007.
Desalination should remain the last resort, and
should only be applied after cheaper alternatives
in terms of supply and demand management have
carefully been considered. - World Bank
A long way to the power stations
A long way to Melbourne
Strong local concern
1200 at Stand in the Sand
Y.W.Y.S. Formed
  • To force government, via political pressure, to
    follow due process by
  • Providing evidence based rationale as to why they
    have chosen the most expensive and polluting
    solution to securing Victorias water future.
  • Choosing the most economically and
    environmentally responsible solution to securing
    Victorias future.

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This particular water supply option
FOR 150 billion litres...
Acceptable environmental damage ??? 5 000 000
000. 1.1 million tonnes CO2 annually.
  • While 700 billion litres of stormwater and
    wastewater are wasted
  • that CAN be collected at a FRACTION of those
  • Recycling
  • Stormwater collection
  • Water tanks
  • Efficient appliances . . . .

Population increase and climate change have not
been addressed in terms of new water
infrastructure for decades. Government must now
secure water supply. The governments Water
Plan is to have 225 gigalitres of new water come
on line within two and a half years. This
represents an additional 60 more water than we
are currently using in homes, leekage and
industry. Is this Justified ?
But lets consider the State Governments
obligations - What is the problem and
what is the corresponding need
So under the current level of drought and climate
change we need an additional 64 gigalitres per
year, 65 GL to stop the dam levels falling
64 GL to stop the dams falling under
drought,but we need to cover greater use by an
expanding population, and for river health we
cant be taking so much from our streams. 69 GL
will cover reasonable consumption of the
additional population over the next decade, even
if population continues to increase at the
current extreme rate. 32 GL returned to our
rivers and streams will give them a chance.165
GL then is a reasonable level of augmentation to
greater Melbournes water supply over the next
few years. The component for
population increase will not all be used before
the end of the decade and can be used to boost
dam levels.
Even the State Governments own analysis, done
through DSE indicates a similar figure with 175
gigalitres of augmentation seeing dams filling in
2015/16 and then no return to restrictions until
at least 2060. The danger is that if this
augmentation comes from the most costly options,
both for our environment and the hip pockets of
consumers, then there will be no room for the
implementation of the more sustainable water
supply options for possibly decades.
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Watershed shows there are solutions
At between 1/3 and1/2 the construction cost
At 1/4 the ongoing cost of water
And at 1/5 the carbon emissions
Why was desalination chosen?
  • Population and climate change effect on supply
  • - 2006 failure of spring rains - PANIC
  • - No augmentation to supply since Thomson Dam
    completed in 1983.
  • Easy option for Government
  • - Guarantee of supply
  • - Hand over to PPP and wash hands of water
  • Lack of opposition
  • - Non Labor electorate and long way from
  • - Far enough from next election if act quickly
  • - Opposition parties would like water problems
    solved before they come to power.

No Electoral mandate to build a desalination
plant on the Bass Coast
  • Pre election desalination was scoffed at by Labor
  • They worked with Melbourne Water, water experts
    and the universities to develop a Sustainable
    Water Strategy
  • Post election this was turned on its head and
    the new Water Plan was announced with
    desalination and the N-S pipe as a done deal.

Getting the message out there
  • Very difficult to get traction in Melbourne
  • Group considered to be NIMBYs
  • Experts and academics reluctant to speak out as
    their jobs and funding all comes from Government
  • Millions of Government dollars go into
    advertising their plan as an essential
  • We are a small group, a long way from Melbourne,
    with few funds

Community Group - Your Water Your Say - Crushed
  • YWYS challenged the Federal Governments
  • decision to exclude
  • pilot plant and preliminary site works
  • climate change through greenhouse emissions
  • migratory species like toothed whales and birds
  • from the Environmental Effects Study.

  • There was initially no commitment to undertake an
    Environmental Effects Study
  • After a huge number of submissions an E.E.S. was
    commited to
  • Scope of the study restricted to exclude
    alternatives, greenhouse implications or whales
    and migratory species
  • The community is given no funding or assistance
    to have quality input to the process
  • Your Water Your Say cannot participate

Another Community Group forms to advocate for
better water supply options for Greater Melbourne.
To force government, via political pressure, to
follow due process by Providing evidence based
rationale as to why they have chosen the most
expensive and polluting solution to securing
Victorias water future. Choosing the most
economically and environmentally responsible
solution to securing Victorias future.
Why we oppose this desalination project
  • excessive scale that will exclude the
  • better alternatives
  • environmentally unsustainable
  • economically prohibitive
  • socially destructive
  • a last resort solution that is
    particularly poorly suited to Melbournes

Alternatives to desalination.
  • Stormwater capture, treatment and use either as
    lowgrade or highly treated water replacement
  • Rainwater tanks capturing water into locally
    built and installed tanks and plumbing
  • River peak flood diversion to storages (having
    benefits to irrigators downstream)
  • Recycling waste water such as the Eastern
    Treatment Plant to industry, agriculture, parks
    and gardens
  • Desalination of brackish water uses less than one
    third the energy and can often be done where the
    water is needed avoiding pumping costs

Desalination ALTERNATIVE OPTIONSRainwater Tanks
  • Marsden Jacobs Report.
  • Rainwater tanks collect and store water far more
    efficiently than dams, especially in times of
    drought. As the climate changes we should be
    installing tanks to take advantage of the rain
    that does fall on our rooftops.
  • Rainwater tanks are cost competitive with dams
    and desalination plants.
  • Rainwater tanks are five times more energy
    efficient than desalination plants.
  • in Melbourne 72 per cent of existing houses have
    potential for a rainwater tank.

Desalination ALTERNATIVE OPTIONSRainwater Tanks
Annual yield from a 5,000 litretank in Melbourne
for a 200 m2 roof collection area 86,000 litres
(235 litres / day).
End cost per 1,000 litres water Rainwater Tank
1.07 Desalination 3.00
Desalination ALTERNATIVE OPTIONSRainwater Tanks
  • Industry Benefits
  • Rainwater Tank Industry
  • Pump Industry
  • Plumbing Industry
  • IF Desalination international industry benefits
    at the expense of the above local industries

  • Regional Storm Water Collection

Professors Barry Hart and Chris Walsh Potential
for collecting over 200 Gl per year.
Desalination ALTERNATIVE OPTIONSRecycling
  • Eastern Treatment Plant
  • Only 45 per household
  • Protects Gunnamatta Beach
  • Latrobe Valley Diversion
  • Increase Yarra River Flows
  • Will deliver over 100 Gl per year

Desalination ALTERNATIVE OPTIONSRecycling
  • Grey Water Systems (Home Use)
  • Consumption 32 toilet, 33 shower, 23 laundry.
  • Saves 350 l / household per DAY.
  • For Garden Use.

Desalination ALTERNATIVE OPTIONSConservation
  • Melbournians use nearly 300 litres / person / day
    c.f. SE Qld Europe (150).
  • Desalination PROMOTES wastage

Desalination ALTERNATIVE OPTIONSCessation of
Catchment Logging
  • 30 Gl / year can be saved by cessation of logging
    in Thomson and Yarra Catchments

Desalination ALTERNATIVE OPTIONSNew Supplies
  • Dams / Connectors
  • River peak flood diversion to storages
  • (Rainfall PATTERNS have changed)
  • Tasmanian Pipeline

  • NOT a 30 YEAR contract with profits flowing
    overseas at the expense of OUR environment.

The irrational justification
  • We need a rainfall independent water source
  • The power generation for the plant will be offset
    through renewable energy credits
  • Despite REPEATED requests, no research or
    scientific explanation for the above throwaway
    lines has ever been produced.

The Carbon Neutral HOAX
  • Where there are alternatives (as there certainly
    are in this case), offsetting carbon emissions
    through offsite green power production or through
    carbon credits is an irresponsible abuse of the
    goals of such schemes that aim to reduce
    necessary carbon emissions rather than being a
    justification for new (but avoidable) polluting

  • The 100 mW plant and its 25 mW pumping costs will
    produce an estimated massive 1 200 000 tonnes
    of carbon emissions every year, 285
    000 new cars!
  • While there are environmentally friendlier
    alternatives, this is absolutely irresponsible
    and incongruous with recent federal government
    commitments to reducing emissions by 60 by 2050!
  • New opinion is that that figure must be 90 to
    avoid climate catastrophe.

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Environmental Issues.
  • Lack of detail.
  • Issues relating to EES / Controlled Action.
  • Because of the decision to procure the plant
    through a public-private partnership arrangement,
    the final location, layout, size, form and
    materials of the plant will not be finalised
    until after the selection of the private
  • Assessment of Matters of National Environmental
    Significance (EPBC Act) for the Desalination
    Project (Biosis Research, 12 December 2007),
    Section 1.1.1

  • At present, it is not possible to specifically
    address all potential impacts of the proposed
    project as details of the site design are yet to
    be determined. These include details of the area,
    dimensions and location within the study area of
    the facility footprint construction techniques
    ongoing operational requirements adopted or
    potential mitigation measures and possible
    impacts beyond the facility itself. When these
    details have been fully resolved, the
    implications on flora and fauna will be able to
    be addressed specifically and thoroughly for the
    facility and the remainder of the study area.
  • Preliminary Flora and Fauna Assessment
    Desalination Plant, Bass Coast, Victoria Impact
    Assessment Report, Biosis Research, November 2007
    (Report 4 , EES Referral)

  • At present, it is not possible to specifically
    address the potential impacts of the proposed
    route as details of the design are yet to be
    determined. These include the precise alignment,
    proposed construction techniques within each
    section, adopted or potential mitigation
    measures and possible impacts beyond the
    pipeline route (e.g. downstream) itself. When
    these details have been fully resolved, the
    implications on flora and fauna will be able to
    be addressed specifically and thoroughly for the
  • Preliminary Flora and Fauna Assessment
    Desalination Plant Transfer Pipeline Corridor-
    Wonthaggi to Cranbourne, Victoria, Biosis
    Research, November 2007 (Report 5 , EES Referral)

  • 14 identified Aboriginal heritage sites
  • No Cultural Heritage Management Plan
  • Archaelogical Sites
  • Register of the National Estate

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  • The passive capture and death of organisms
  • 14 000 litres water / second 350 000 per second
  • Loss of Biomass base food chain organisms
  • Poor Mixing / Cumulative effects
  • Disposal problems / further greenhouse emissions

  • Salt
  • Biocides
  • Cleaning Agents
  • Heavy Metals
  • Dead organisms

Local Ecosystem Alteration Pest species risk.
Why else is this wrong?
  • Public Private Partnership
  • Economics

The Public Private Partnership
  • The MOST expensive way to deliver projects.
  • GUARANTEES full operation even WHEN there is
    cheaper available catchment water.
  • Ownership of infrastructure to international
    companies reduces control of our essential

Economic Arguments.
  • How much will the end user pay?
  • Up to 4 - 5 times current water costs

Economic Arguments.
  • Desalination is THE most expensive alternative
  • PPP means control of our water is handed over to
    largely foreign owned consortium
  • Short term construction jobs will be the only
    bonus to area. Long term jobs numbers will be
    similar to a small supermarket
  • Economic Report prepared for DSE indicates the
    majority of labor involved will NOT be from

Economic Arguments.
The Australian Financial Review (Mar 26, 2008) By
PETE HEININGER... According to one of
Australias leading independent water experts, Dr
Peter Coombes, taxpayers need to know how much
they can expect to pay for water once formal
carbon trading schemes and carbon taxes are in
place, and desalination plant operating costs,
including the costs of transporting water to
cities, have been properly counted. We also need
to ask what implications these carbon footprints
will have on Australia reaching its planned 60
per cent cut to greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Ten year of drought continuing - Current policy
is a mix of pre election Central Region
Sustainable Water Strategy and the New Plan,
Our Water Our Future.
Thompson Dam rainfall Runoff
Melton rainfall
Yarra Ranges rainfall
Geelong Rainfall
Glen Eira rainfall
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