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In delivering seawater desalination at Sleaford for the Eyre Peninsula, what's most important to you?

almost 2 years ago

We are working together with the Eyre Peninsula community as we progress plans for supplementing the Uley South ground water supply with seawater desalination to ensure water security for the region into the future.

Our customers on Eyre Peninsula are invited to join the conversation and tell us what's most important to them.

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  • Admin Commented Andrew Coulson over 1 year ago
    Post added by admin on behalf of a local resident - John (5607) - who attended the Port Lincoln drop-in: The development of the desal plant at Sleaford Bay is critical. The misinformation being put forward to the public about our underground water table that supply our commercial water supply. All of the basins have been closed down or are beginning to be unusable - except Uley South. This basin is now supplying 85% of EPs water supply. This is now having salt water incursion on its western and eastern end, this is serious! I repeat the development of the desal plant is critical!
    Reply Do you agree? Agree 1 Disagree 1 Alert moderator Hide replies (5)
    • Ross Allen over 1 year ago
      I would like to have some answers to the questions I put to staff at the Port Lincoln sessions. Such as what percentage of existing SA Water used on EP is consumed by people, what is consumed by stock, what is used to flush toilets, what is used to wash cars, driveways, water gardens, what is percentage is lost to leakage, particularly on farms. If the desal plant will cost around $80m, what would if cost to provide every household and farm building with a rainwater tank? None of these questions were able to be answered by the staff.
      Why not have an education campaign to reduce the amount of potable water wasted and to reduce the draw on existing basins? This, combined with the provision of tanks to catch and use rainfall on existing roofs, including commercial buildings could negate the need for an expensive desal plant. One last question, what will be the annual operating cost of a desal plant?
      • Admin Commented Andrew Coulson over 1 year ago
        Thank you for your questions Ross. I will pass these questions on to the team and reply to you soon. Andrew@WaterTalks
      • Admin Commented Andrew Coulson over 1 year ago
        Hi Ross
        Thank you for your questions relating to water use, supply and sustainability on the Eyre Peninsula. We apologies for the late response.
        There are a range of water security and sustainability issues of interest to the community that interrelate with our role in supplying water to customers on the Eyre Peninsula. The Department of Environment and Water (DEW) and Eyre Peninsula Natural Resource Management Board (EPNRM) also play a central role in relation to water security and sustainability. We continue to work together with other government departments to address these broader issues.
        The percentage breakdown of how customers in the Eyre Peninsula use their water is difficult to answer due to the way our meters record usage and how they are categorised in our systems. However, more than half of water consumption with our customers across South Australia occurs inside the house. You can find the percentage breakdown of this information on this via the link to our website here - https://www.sawater.com.au/residential/water-in-your-home-and-garden. The total demand across the Eyre Peninsula in financial year 16/17 was 6.4GL.
        We are currently investigating new technologies to provide smarter water service solutions across the State to better manage our networks and customer expectations. The introduction of the smart technology will enable customers to better understand their water usage and help identify leaks. You can read more information on smart meters and smart networks on our website here - https://www.sawater.com.au/residential/penneshaw-smart-meters-pilot-program.
        During the millennium drought, we introduced a rebate scheme for tanks and various water saving methods across South Australia. We understand the Eyre Peninsula and many of the regional areas across South Australia have a high proportion of rainwater tank ownership. While education and rainwater tanks are part of the solution, there is still a supply gap during low rainfall years that the existing groundwater/ Murray River supply would be unable to sustainably fill. Customers turn to the mains water supply when their rainwater tanks and other rainfall dependant systems run out of water and this is what we have to plan for. This has recently happened to a number of farmers on the Eyre Peninsula and we are currently augmenting the supply network to ensure these farmers have access to water.
        Seawater desalination was identified as the preferred water supply augmentation option in the Eyre Peninsula’s Long Term Plan for Water Security as it is climate independent. This will ensure we can continue to support industry and population growth on the Eyre Peninsula and will assist in protecting the River Murray and Uley South groundwater basin for the future.
        All of our customers, including those on Eyre Peninsula, benefit from state-wide pricing. We continue to work to ensure we keep our prices as low and as stable as possible. Water supplied through the proposed plant at Sleaford would be supported by this state-wide pricing meaning that customers will pay no more for desalinated water than they are paying now. Response provided by Chloe@SAWater.