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Proud Victorian!
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
PROJECTS: Melbourne Water

I think there should be a dedicated thread since it looks like something will finally be happening fairly soon.

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,21907848-661,00.html

Connex firm in water race

EXCLUSIVE: THE French company running Melbourne's train system wants to build a giant water plant to solve our big dry crisis.

A division of Paris-based Veolia Environnement -- the parent company of Connex -- has declared it is interested in building either a desalination or recycling plant in Victoria.

But its bid will face strong competition with local construction giants including Multiplex and John Holland also in the race.

With storage levels at 28.5 per cent, the Bracks Government is set to spend billions of dollars on a drought-busting project.

Veolia Water -- which has built desalination plants in the Middle East and is building Queensland's plant -- confirmed its interest.

"We are aware that the State Government is currently considering a number of options to deal with water shortages, including both desalination and recycling plants," said Veolia Water spokeswoman Caroline Clopet from France.

"If the Government invites tenders for either type of plant, then Veolia Water would look at this."

It appears likely the Victorian project would be built as a public-private partnership.

Melbourne's rail network has had its problems under Veolia Transport's subsidiary Connex.

Connex has been fined $60 million for not meeting its obligations on punctuality and reliability.

But Veolia Water has successfully built and run the largest desalination plant in the world using cutting edge reverse osmosis, the Ashkelon plant in Israel.

The same technology is likely to be used in Victoria.

Ashkelon can produce 320 million litres of drinking water a day.

This is about 30 per cent of Melbourne's average daily water consumption during winter.

Another Veolia Water plant on the Gold Coast will be capable of producing 125million litres a day when it is completed by the end of 2008.

Veolia Water is also building desalination plants in Oman and Spain and is in the running for Sydney's desalination plant.

The Government now looks likely to announce its decision in the next eight weeks. Premier Steve Bracks would not discuss its water plans yesterday, other than that the Government was examining four key projects.

The four projects being considered are a $1 billion desalination plant; a $2 billion pipeline pumping water over the Great Dividing range from Melbourne; a $2.4 billion plan to pipe recycled water to Gippsland to free up drinking water used in the power stations; and a proposal to harvest stormwater from the Yarra River during floods.


Melbourne faces harsh stage 4 restrictions unless the storages rise above 29.3 per cent capacity by August 1.

Melbourne Water chief executive officer Rob Skinner said the city catchments were losing 200 million litres of water a day but that the traditional filling season was about to begin.

"The next two or three weeks are really critical, the filling season traditionally starts in the next month or two and so we'd like to think that rains will come," he said.

Construction giant Multiplex confirmed its interest in building a desalination plant for Victoria.

"Multiplex recently completed the Perth desalination plant, and we will continue to explore future opportunities to undertake similar-style projects," said managing director Marshall Hudson.

"Any proposed desalination plant for Victoria would no doubt fit into this strategy."

John Holland group managing director David Stewart said his company was involved in the group building the Gold Coast plant with Veolia Water.

"We're very interested in working with the Victorian Government on proposed desalination and other water infrastructure projects across the state," he said.
 

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Glitter & Grease
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if this goes ahead...
not only will our train system be screwed but all our water will be crappy.
well you never know. considering they're saying we only have like 6 months water left i suppose anything that might help will be good.
 

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The amount of water left using time till used, is with the assumption it doesnt rain again.....I think it will..but it makes for News headlines...maybe in a few years they will decide to drain all our dams and return those valleys to nature...The millions...Billions$$$$!!! to make potable water..and continue to do so could easily build a new dam !!! Shock horror...should wash my mouth out!!! but I don't want to waste water...Guess you realize I don't hate dams..If you accept civilization is here..and growing, it's just part of that development that requires water storage....waiting for the future News headlines that tell us of gliches with desalination or recycled water trying to explain why most of the population is dead or has caught some disease because some worker forgot to change something or a part broke. Oh yeah...there can't be any disaster like that can there...but what about when you bring up the subject of Nucleur Energy???? Use only statistics that suit your needs....anything can look good.
 

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if this goes ahead...
not only will our train system be screwed but all our water will be crappy.
well you never know. considering they're saying we only have like 6 months water left i suppose anything that might help will be good.
You're so biased on the crap the media feeds you.

Quick googling shows that Veolia is a large company from France, also listed in the NYSE, with four divisions: water, waste, energy and transport. It is the parent company of Collex, whose hippo logo is seen on various dumpsters around Australia. Their website states that their first water contract was back in 1853 and have similar projects to the one being proposed here around the world.

@redbaron: Sure, one tiny mistake could contaminate the water supply, but then you could use that argument against anything. One failed part in your car could get you killed. One tiny mistake in the gas plant could cause it to blow up (as it did at Longford). But instead of shunning the technology, you maintain safety by keeping your car (or oil refinery or nuclear power plant) regularly serviced. Desalination and water recycling are not new technologies, having been around for decades.

Besides, in high school, we learnt that you can get pure water by boiling it and collecting the steam. One of the methods to desalinate water is by doing exactly that but it's fallen out of use because there are more energy efficient methods.
 

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I get a bit carried away...just love fresh rain from the sky...I guess I have been living through the times of plenty...I remember when it wasn't a sin to hose down concrete...it does clean it best...kids playing under the sprinkler etc...It's just the least processing or handling the better as far as I can see. Most alternative water supplies all seem to need high energy and financial cost. I fear Governments/Big business will soon latch on that it is a great way to make bucks using the Global Warming frenzy...who will pay..we all will...OK if it saves the world, great but the world will do what it wants and I think we only adjust around the edges..And in the end places like China will put it's economic expansion way ahead of the Environment..so we will all be paying and tightening our belts and you wont see a ripple from Australia's efforts.
 

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Besides, in high school, we learnt that you can get pure water by boiling it and collecting the steam. One of the methods to desalinate water is by doing exactly that but it's fallen out of use because there are more energy efficient methods.

Seems someone in Dubai went to High School too. Water used for cooling in Aluminium smelter on the coast b/w Dubai old town and Jebel Ali is re-used, however the steam is re-channelled into potable water..... tastes good too.:cheers:
 

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I do love ideas that should have been completed a year ago being finally considered. D'Oh!

Funny that my water consumption has gone up since they introduced restrictions.

I'm now quite happy to get up at 6:00am to water the garden.:bash: it needs it!

Cheers,

Adam
 

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All the way with PJK
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If Veolia wins, I hope they give us little speakers to install near our taps, out of which we'll be sure to hear the following gems:

Customers are advised that due to planned tapworks, all water scheduled for the Kitchen Tap Line will now depart from the Laundry Tap Line. We apologise for any inconvenience.
and,

Customers are advised that water from the Shower Head Line is running ten minutes late. We apologise for any inconvenience.
Still I suppose waiting ten minutes for your water is less annoying than arriving at the tap and seeing the last of the water heading down the sink! ;)
 

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Proud Victorian!
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Bracks announces $5 billion water plan

http://www.theage.com.au/news/natio...lion-water-plan/2007/06/19/1182019079395.html

Household water bills will double over the next five years to pay for a $4.9 billion water strategy to secure Melbourne's water supplies, the Victorian Government announced today

The centrepiece of the strategy will be a $3.1 billion desalination plant in Victoria's south-east.

The Government is to build Australia's largest desalination plant in the state's south and a 70-kilometre pipeline from the Goulburn area to boost Melbourne's water supply, Premier Steve Bracks has announced

The desalination plant will be built in the Wonthaggi region, south-east of Melbourne, at a cost of $3.1 billion. It is expected to provide 150 billion litres of water per year for Melbourne, Geelong, Westernport and Wonthaggi.


The pipeline from the state's north will cost $750 million and is aimed at transferring 75 billion litres of water to Melbourne by 2010.

Mr Bracks also said the Government would expand the state's water grid by adding a new pipeline between Geelong and Melbourne.

"Under today's direct plan almost $5 billion of major new water infrastructure spending on projects will be built right across Victoria, securing our water supplies for the long term," Mr Bracks said.

"Victorians will have access to an extra 375 billion litres of water each year. That's about 50 per cent extra water which will be available for Melbourne itself," he said.

Today's announcement in Melbourne is expected to anger some rural communities who object to their water being piped to Melbourne.

Coastal communities have previously expressed concern about the environmental impacts of a desalination plant.

Mr Bracks said he believed the government was making the right decision.

"I'm confident we have the right plan for the future," he said.


^^ FINALLY! The only problem is though, what will happen in the short term? At this rate we are set to run out of water by April next year.
 

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Does anyone know how long until these projects get underway, and when they are planned to be finished? Sounds good but the fact that water is supposed to run out soon really doesn't sound good.
 

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Lord Melbourne
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w00t finally. Now all we need is the Nuke plant to be chucked down near the desal plant in wonthaggi and all shall be good.
 

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Proud Victorian!
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Does anyone know how long until these projects get underway, and when they are planned to be finished? Sounds good but the fact that water is supposed to run out soon really doesn't sound good.
They estimate the desal plant to be finished by 2011 and the other projects earlier but I rekon it will be much later than that, probably 2013 or 14.

Think about it, there will be protests and opposition to the projects and problems etc. If the desal plant is finished on schedule consider that a bonus!
 

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Biggest in the world?

This article http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,21907848-5010020,00.html says that the Ashkelon plant in Israel at 320 megalitres a day is the worlds biggest and would supply 30% of a days water use for Melbourne.

This $3.1b plant is supposedly 150 gigalitres a year / 365 = 411 mega litres a day, easily bigger than the Ashkelon plant?! That should be over 40% of daily usage. Does that scan for other people?

Then they say that the pipleline from the Golbourn will provide 225 gigalitres annually, or 616 megalitres a day. That should be around 60%?

A google search for "melbourne's daily water usage" lists our daily consumption at 1050 to 1100 megalitres a day, so these two initiatives completely meet our daily needs. Perhaps we can decomission the Thompson since the desal and the golbourn pipe will empty into 3 other existing reservoirs... ;)
 

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http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/water-bills-set-to-double/2007/06/19/1182019116320.html

From The Age

Bracks' $4.9bn water plan
David Rood, Orietta Guerrera and Rachel Kleinman
June 20, 2007

MELBURNIANS have been warned that their water bills will double in five years to pay for the State Government's radical remedy for the water crisis.

Premier Steve Bracks yesterday revealed Victoria's biggest water infrastructure investment in 25 years — a $4.9 billion plan that includes a desalination plant near Wonthaggi, in the state's south-east, and piping water to the city and suburbs from the Goulburn Valley.

The decision amounts to a comprehensive reversal by Mr Bracks who, before last year's state election, attacked a Liberal plan for desalination as "extraordinarily expensive".

The Government also faces a backlash from rural communities and the Victorian Nationals over the plan to pipe water from the state's north to Melbourne.

The bulk of the cost of the Bracks plan will be met by water users, with just $630 million to be contributed by the Government. Water charges will start to increase from 2008, with a typical annual bill tipped to reach almost $1000 in five years. But extra water will not start to flow until 2010. The plan includes:

• A $3.1 billion desalination plant funded entirely by consumers, providing 150 billion litres a year to Melbourne and Geelong by late 2011.

• A $1 billion upgrade to the Goulburn irrigation system, involving prevention of leaks and evaporation, and sending 75 billion litres in saved water down a $750 million pipe to Melbourne.

• A new water piping "grid" covering about 250 kilometres, including a link between Melbourne and Geelong.

• Cutting environmental flows to the Yarra and Thomson rivers by 20 billion litres a year if , as seems likely, Melbourne moves to stage 4 water restrictions from August 1.

But other proposals for securing the water supply have been benched. These included a $2 billion plan championed by Water Minister John Thwaites to cool Latrobe Valley power plants with recycled water, and harvesting Yarra River stormwater.

The Government is planning a $1 million advertising blitz for the water plan, including a two-minute television commercial.

Mr Bracks said yesterday the plan would increase Melbourne's water supply by 50 per cent within five years, with the desalination plant alone to provide a third of the city's needs. He said the initiative would "drought-proof" the water supply in the face of climate change and predicted population growth of 1.2 million in 25 years.

Piping water from the Goulburn Valley across the Great Dividing Range will break a Government pre-election promise. And building a desalination plant flies in the face of Mr Bracks' response to a similar Liberal proposal last year, when he said: "The energy consumption is enormous, the intrusion on the community is enormous and, of course, it's extraordinarily expensive."

Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu yesterday criticised the level of government spending in the Bracks plan, saying the policy would see "more buckets and bigger bills" for water that would not flow until 2010.

Victorian Farmers Federation president Simon Ramsay lambasted what he called a hastily made decision. He said that after being assured on Monday by Treasurer John Brumby that the pipeline would not be approved without support from farmers and the community, Mr Bracks informed him it was going ahead 30 minutes before the announcement.

"It seems somewhat hypocritical that they continually ask the Commonwealth for details on the National Water Plan but are more than happy to announce a funding proposal without providing any detail to us," Mr Ramsay said.

Moira Shire mayor Frank Malcolm said his community was opposed to the plans to send water south for urban use.

The first phase of the Goulburn scheme, proposed by local business group Foodbowl Incorporated, will provide 225 billion litres to be split between irrigators, the environment and Melbourne by 2010. The Government is seeking Commonwealth funding for a second stage of the scheme.

Victorians Nationals leader Peter Ryan said he agreed in principle with desalination but the pipeline would see "the future of the Goulburn Valley flushed down Melbourne's toilets". He warned that the plan would cost the Government at the ballot box.

The desalination plant, one of the world's largest, will extract salt from Bass Strait sea water through a reverse osmosis process. The Government says it will buy renewable energy to make the plant carbon neutral.

The plan will have to overcome obstacles including environmental concerns and mounting development pressure on Bass Coast Shire.

The council's chief executive, Allan Bawden, acknowledged it could be sensitive in the area.

Mr Bracks defended the move to increase water prices by 20 per cent a year over the next five years to pay for the project. "I think people in Victoria realise that water prices have to go up to account for infrastructure because of drought, because of climate change," Mr Bracks said.

He said the plan would produce excess water above consumption by 2011 and modelling showed that restrictions could then be significantly eased.
 

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http://www.theage.com.au/news/natio...ast-site-begins/2007/06/19/1182019116404.html

From The Age

Green light, so now search for coast site begins
June 20, 2007

The announcement of the Bass Coast as the location for a massive plant has brought applause and concern, writes Rachel Kleinman.

THE search is on for land to build Victoria's $3.1 billion desalination plant, the centrepiece of its water plan.

A 20-hectare site on the Bass Coast between Kilcunda and Wonthaggi is needed for what will be one of the world's biggest desalination plants.

The project is expected to boost drinking water supplies to Melbourne, Geelong, Western Port and Wonthaggi by 150 billion litres a year by 2011.

Obstacles will include environmental concerns and mounting development pressure in the Bass Coast Shire.

But the plant will provide an economic lift for the area and much-needed water supplies for the drought-stricken region, including Phillip Island, where storages are down to 7 per cent.

In 2003, Bass Coast was regional Victoria's fastest-growing municipality. The permanent population of 30,000 is expected to double in 30 years.

The shire's chief executive, Allan Bawden, said Department of Sustainability and Environment staff had started approaching landowners about sites, seeking permission to do soil tests.

Under compulsory acquisition laws, people can be forced to sell their properties.

"It would be hard to resist a project of state significance but there may be some people who don't want to move," Mr Bawden said.

A letter from the department was circulated in Wonthaggi yesterday after the proposal to pump a third of Melbourne's water from the ocean was made public.

"Over the next few days, all landowners … will be contacted to discuss this project and how they might be affected," it said.

Mr Bawden said the impact of a desalination plant on the coastal landscape could be an issue. "That is a highly recognisable piece of coastline," he said.

South Gippsland Conservation Society spokesman Dave Sutton expressed concern about the project impact on "a very significant coastal landscape" that was within two kilometres of the Bunurong Marine Park.

Melbourne Water's own feasibility study, which recommended the Gippsland site over three other options, found a high risk of visual impacts.

It also highlighted water quality risks because of the plant's proximity to Wonthaggi's sewage treatment outfall, and economic risks from past coalmining activity that could restrict tunnelling and construction.

Noise and vibration would have to be managed with large buffer zones around the plant, the survey found.

The desalination plan won support from the Australian Industry Group and the Property Council, which said it was overdue.

Environment Victoria was also upbeat. "There are potential benefits from desalination. It can take pressure off our stressed rivers during drought," executive director Kelly O'Shanassy said.

But international conservation group WWF yesterday released a report in Geneva condemning reliance on desalination technology because of its high energy use and possible risk to marine life.

The State Government will decide later this year the extent of private-sector input in the infrastructure.

The proposal includes an 85-kilometre pipeline to pump water into Melbourne's Cardinia Reservoir and smaller pipelines to supply regional centres.

The feasibility study estimated the carbon dioxide emissions from the plant would be 1 million tonnes a year if it was powered by coal.

But the Government yesterday promised to add 90 megawatts of renewable energy to Victoria's grid — equal to the plant's power needs.
 

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http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,21934755-661,00.html

From Herald Sun

Water bills to rise in $5b plan
Ellen Whinnett, state politics reporter
June 20, 2007 12:00am

WATER bills will double in Melbourne to pay for $4.9 billion projects to drought-proof the city.

A new desalination plant and a pipeline from the state's north are expected to end the city's water crisis.

Premier Steve Bracks yesterday revealed the Government's plan to drought-proof the city, saying it would provide a 50 per cent boost to Melbourne's water supply in five years.

There will be a $3.1 billion desalination plant to turn ocean water into drinking water at Wonthaggi, and a $1.8 billion plan to save water by improving irrigation in the Goulburn region and piping the water to Melbourne.

But bills for householders and businesses will rise sharply across the state and double in metropolitan Melbourne to pay for the twin projects.

The plan has been described by Mr Bracks as the largest water project in Victoria since the building of the Thomson Dam.

"This is about the long term. It's not a quick fix, it's about the long term," he said.

The projects will not be on line until 2010 and 2011.

The key infrastructure elements of the proposals are:

The mostly prefabricated desalination plant, to be built near Wonthaggi.

The 85km pipe linking the desalination plant at Wonthaggi to Melbourne's Cardinia and Silvan reservoirs, and further pipes providing desalinated water to Westernport, Wonthaggi, Melbourne, Phillip Island and Geelong.

$1 BILLION worth of repair and upgrading works around Goulburn irrigation channels.

A 70KM pipeline worth $750 million diverting water from the Goulburn River to Sugarloaf reservoir in Melbourne.

A $80 MILLION pipeline linking Melbourne and Geelong's supplies for the first time.

A $30 MILLION pipe connecting Hamilton and the Grampians river system.

The 90 megawatts of energy required to run the desalination plant each year and the 10 megawatts required to power the Sugarloaf pipeline will come from wind farms.

The announcement of Australia's largest desalination plant was mostly welcomed yesterday across the state, while the north-south pipeline met fierce resistance from the Victorian Farmers Federation.

The desalination plant will provide 150 billion litres when it is fully operational at the end of 2011, while the north-south pipe will provide 225 billion litres by 2010.

The combined projects will add 375 billion litres to Melbourne's supplies.
A further $1 billion stage two in the north-south pipeline has been identified by the Government, which could provide a total of 450 billion litres.

Mr Bracks said Melbourne's water prices were at least 20 per cent cheaper than in other mainland capital cities.

"I think people in Victoria realise water prices have to go up to account for new infrastructure, because of the drought, because of climate change," he said.

Households and businesses in metropolitan Melbourne will be the hardest hit, with bills expected to double within five years.

Metropolitan authority South East Water told the Herald Sun the average water bill for a person living alone in a small house or flat with a medium garden was $300 a year, which is set to jump to as much as $600.

For a house occupied by two, the average is $432 a year.
The figure is $490 a year for three people, $560 for four people, and $640 for five people, bills which would all double within five years.
 

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This article http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,21907848-5010020,00.html says that the Ashkelon plant in Israel at 320 megalitres a day is the worlds biggest and would supply 30% of a days water use for Melbourne.

This $3.1b plant is supposedly 150 gigalitres a year / 365 = 411 mega litres a day, easily bigger than the Ashkelon plant?! That should be over 40% of daily usage. Does that scan for other people?

Then they say that the pipleline from the Golbourn will provide 225 gigalitres annually, or 616 megalitres a day. That should be around 60%?

A google search for "melbourne's daily water usage" lists our daily consumption at 1050 to 1100 megalitres a day, so these two initiatives completely meet our daily needs. Perhaps we can decomission the Thompson since the desal and the golbourn pipe will empty into 3 other existing reservoirs... ;)
They sound right but the article says it's only one of the world's biggest. I hope it's the biggest :D
 

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A google search for "melbourne's daily water usage" lists our daily consumption at 1050 to 1100 megalitres a day, so these two initiatives completely meet our daily needs. Perhaps we can decomission the Thompson since the desal and the golbourn pipe will empty into 3 other existing reservoirs... ;)

Emptying Thompson Dam not so silly, gonna need somewhere to store all the salt..........:cheers:
 

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It sounds like it will be the largest in the world and the project has made headlines worldwide.
 
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