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As a result of the water supply crisis during the severe 1997–2009 drought State governments around Australia began 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 Perth Seawater Desalination Plant that 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.
List of desalination plants
Desalination plants in use
|Plant||Capacity (Megalitres per day)||Capacity (Gigalitres per year)||Percent of water supply - at full capacity||Current status||Location||Completion|
|Gold Coast Desalination Plant||125||45||27% of South East Queensland||Operating at a minimum production level||Queensland (Tugun)||2009|
|Perth Seawater Desalination Plant||130||48||17% of Perth||Provides 45 gigalites a year||Western Australia (Kwinana)||2006|
|Southern Seawater Desalination Plant (Binningup)||270||100||20% of Perth||Western Australia (Binningup)||2012|
|Sydney Desalination Plant||250||84||New South Wales (Kurnell) 34.02475°S 151.205136°E||2012|
|Adelaide Desalination Plant||300||100||50% of Adelaide||Operating at a minimum production level supplying 10% of SA water||South Australia (Port Stanvac)||2012|
|Victorian Desalination Plant||410||150||33% of Melbourne||Victoria (Dalyston)
Smaller desalination plants
|State||Location||Capacity (Megalitres per day)||Status||Year
|Albany (Cape Riche)||34||Approved 2012|
|Barrow Island (Gorgon gas project)||7||Operating|
|Burrup (West Pilbara)||16.4||Operating|
|Cape Preston (Sino Iron project, Pilbara)||140||Operating|
|Garden Island (Navy Base)||Unknown||Q1 2014|
|Long Island (Houtman Abrolhos)||0.017||Operating|
|Onslow (Wheatstone LNG)||11|||
|Kangaroo Head (Penneshaw, Kangaroo Island)||0.3||Operating|
|Leigh Creek||not known||Operating|
|Port Augusta (Sundrop Farms)||8||Operating|
|Sleaford Bay||8||Planning 2018/19|
|Whyalla Steelworks (Arrium)||4||Operating|
|Long Island (Club Crocodile)||0.12||Operating|
|St. Agnes / 1770 (Gladstone)||1.5||Operating||2010|
|Home Island (Cocos & Keeling Islands)||0.35||Under construction 2014|
|Timor Sea (Ichthys LNG)||0.5||?|
Desalination plants in development or cancelled
|Plant||Capacity (Megalitres per day)||Location||Notes|
|Anketell Point (Pilbara)||9.6||Western Australia||Approved 2013 then cancelled|
|Bribie Island||unknown||Queensland||In dispute|
|North Stradbroke Island||unknown||Queensland||In dispute|
|Onslow Desalination Plant||2||Western Australia|||
|Point Lowly / Port Bonython (BHP)||280||South Australia||Approved 2011, not constructed|
|Point Paterson Desalination Plant||15||South Australia||Project cancelled|
|Port Spencer / Lipson Cove (Centrex Metals)||14-55||South Australia||Project cancelled|
|Sunshine Coast||unknown||Queensland||Suggested after 2028|
|Toukley||20||New South Wales||Approved 2007, construction deferred|
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- Inc., Advanced Solutions International. "Desalination Fact Sheet". www.awa.asn.au. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
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- Gipson, D. “Take Bligh’s promises on Bribie Island desalination plan with grain of salt.” LNP. 19 April 2010. Web. 29 April 2010. <http://lnp.org.au/media-centre/media-release/2408-take-blighs-promises-on-bribie-island-desalination-plant-with-a-grain-of-salt.html>
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- "Drinking water for a seaside tourism community" Archived 2014-02-04 at the Wayback Machine Osmoflo Retrieved 2014-01-07.
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- Industries - Resorts Ausmos Retrieved 2014-01-09.
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