Delivery of Perth’s next major, climate-resilient water source – the Alkimos Seawater Desalination Plant (ASDP) – is a step closer following environmental approval by State and Federal regulators.
The Commonwealth Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water has approved the 100-billion litre-a-year plant. It will secure drinking water supply to millions of Western Australians.
The Ministerial conditions stipulate how Water Corporation will deliver and operate the plant and associated infrastructure with appropriate management of terrestrial and marine environments.
They include ensuring net-zero Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions during construction and operation through measures such as procuring renewable energy to meet the plant’s total annual energy needs.
The project was last month granted development approval by an independent Development Assessment Panel, paving the way for initial site works to begin late this year.
Announced in June 2022, ASDP is vital to the long-term water security of more than 2.5 million Western Australians who receive drinking water through Water Corporation’s Integrated Water Supply Scheme.
It will be delivered in two 50 billion-litre-a-year stages, with water expected to be available by 2028.
The plant has been carefully designed to protect the surrounding environment. It will be situated behind large, vegetated sand dunes to shield it from view and to buffer noise, while a special tunnel boring technique will limit seabed and beach disturbance during construction.
The WA Government has currently allocated $2.1 billion towards the project in consecutive State Budgets.
Comments attributed to Water Minister Simone McGurk:
“This is a significant milestone for a project crucial to the long-term water security of more than 2.5 million Western Australians.
“It’s no secret that climate change has profoundly impacted traditional water sources, meaning we simply cannot rely on rainfall alone to meet our drinking water needs.
“Western Australia was the first State to introduce large-scale desalination, and alongside Water Corporation, our Government continues to be at the forefront of delivering projects that provide secure, sustainable and climate-resilient water supply.”
Comments attributed to Environment Minister Reece Whitby:
“Water security in the face of climate change is a growing challenge globally. However, through prudent investment and robust planning, we’re ensuring the sustainability of our State’s most valuable resource now and long into the future.
“I’m confident Water Corporation will deliver the Alkimos Seawater Desalination Plant safely and sustainably, with minimal disturbance and in line with all environmental conditions.
“These conditions include ensuring the plant has net-zero greenhouse gas emissions during construction and operations as part of wider efforts to decarbonise WA’s electricity grid.”
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