A combination of increased water usage and lower rainfall in Australia has caused a noticeable drop in city and town water supply levels. In response to this, State governments around Australia have begun building desalination plants that purify seawater using reverse osmosis technology. Many of these plants have included in their overall cost the building of renewable energy sources such as wind farms.
Australia's first working desalination plant was the Kwinana plant in Perth, and was completed in November 2006. A second plant on the Gold Coast began operations in February 2009. The Kurnell Desalination Plant in Sydney was opened on 28 January 2010.