Southern Seawater desalination Project

About the project

Project location: Shire of Harvey, Western Australia

Funding: The total cost of the project is $1.085 billion. The Australian Government is providing up to $18.4 million for activities that would support the future expansion of the desalination plant to 100 gigalitres per year.

Construction on the 50 gigalitres per year desalination plant started in October 2009. It is expected to produce its first water by November 2010 and be fully operational by end of 2011.

As part of the construction of the desalination plant, the Australian Government's funding will contribute to key infrastructure works that will set the plant up to be expanded to 100 gigalitres per year in the future. The date for the expansion to 100 gigalitres per year plant is not confirmed as yet.

The key infrastructure needs to be undertaken during the construction of the 50 gigalitres per year plant as it requires environmental approvals and it will reduce the costs in the long term by carrying out the works at the same time for the 50 gigalitres per year.

These key activities consist of:

  • installing an additional intake tunnel as part of the marine works at the site
  • complete the seawater pumping station's structure (i.e. trenching slabs and under pinning architecture of the slabs for 100 gigalitres per year)
  • general earthworks at the site.

Project benefits

This plant is part of the Western Australian integrated water supply scheme. With the completion of the 50 gigalitres per year plant in 2011, the scheme has the potential to provide 30 per cent of Western Australia's water supply from non-rain dependant sources.

Total potable water savings of up to 1,200 gigalitres per annum are projected to be delivered from this project.

Further information

The project will be managed and delivered by the Water Corporation of Western Australia.