Desalination Plants

By Jeremy Meltingtallow

The boyf sent me an article from the New York Times about the desalination plants that are springing up in Australia. Despite recent rains, Australia is still a country that suffers from drought and has to plan for providing water for a growing population. Unfortunately, more effort is going into making drinking water from the sea than into conserving the water we have (or collecting it from rain). The target water use is 155 litres per person per day and it’s a target a lot of people miss. Why? We use about 40 litres a day. For the two of us. Clearly, behavioural changes could save a lot of water.

This part of the article really resonated with me:

Many environmentalists and economists oppose any further expansion of desalination because of its price and contribution to global warming. The power needed to remove the salt from seawater accounts for up to 50 percent of the cost of desalination, and Australia relies on coal, a major emitter of greenhouse gases, to generate most of its electricity.

Why aren’t we powering the plant that is being built for Melbourne with wind and solar? This is Australia, for crying out loud – solar power should be EVERYWHERE.