Water has always been a volatile topic in Australia, the world’s driest inhabited continent, but the political row that broke out last week was perhaps surprising. Protesters are complaining that a planned desalination facility outside Melbourne, Victoria, will generate too much freshwater.
As Neil Rankine ( a spokesman for protest group Your Water Your Say) and his supporters gear up for a new round of protests, Melbourne could do worse than look west to the city of Perth. Its US$329-million desalination plant, which opened in 2006, has won grudging approval. In fact, a second, US$811-million plant is now planned. The secret: renewable energy — the power comes mainly from a wind farm, and up to 90% of it can be recycled by energy-recovery devices.
From Nature News, 19th March: ‘Water: Purification with a pinch of salt’