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No to the Wonthaggi Desalinisation Project

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Sebastian Weiss

on 14 May 2013

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Transcript of No to the Wonthaggi Desalinisation Project

Negative effects and consequences Background Information of the Wonthaggi desalinisation plant Economic and Community Drawbacks Environmental Drawbacks 1 Environmental Drawbacks 2 Located on the Bass Coast near Wonthaggi in southern Victoria
Constructed from September 2009 to December 2012, it is Australia's largest desalinisation plant
Cost of A$3.5 billion to construct
Cost of around A$650 million per annum to maintain (even if it is not in operation)
Reverse osmosis technology
Estimated output of 411 megalitres per day
Estimated to supply around 33% of Melbourne's water
Water transported along eighty five kilometres of underground pipeline to Melbourne’s Cardinia reservoir
Wind farm proposed at Glenthompson to off-set the large amounts of energy needed to run the plant
Due to Cardina reservoir being around 80% full and Melbourne currently not experiencing a water shortage, the plant was immediately put into standby mode Large area of what was natural cleared farm land used for construction of the plant
This means disturbance/loss of habitat to wildlife living in this area
Pumping of saltwater destroys coastal marine environment
Chemicals used in desalinisation are dumped into the ocean, polluting it and harming wildlife
Brine, a by product of desalinisation, is pumped back into the ocean, rapidly increasing salinity levels and harming wildlife No to the Wonthaggi Desalinisation Project! People assembling on a beach to from the words 'at what cost?' to combat the desalinisation project. Image courtesy of Herald Sun Aerial photograph of the Wonthaggi desalinisation plant under construction in September 2012. Image courtesy of Herald Sun People on a beach combating the desalinisation project. Image courtesy of ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Aquasure (2013), 'The Plant' viewed 11 April 2013 <http://www.aquasure.com.au/plant-description.php>

State Government Victoria (2013) 'Government Initiatives: Desalinisation Project - Background', viewed 11 April 2013 <http://www.water.vic.gov.au/initiatives/desalination/desalination>

Water-technology.net (2013) 'Wonthaggi Desalinisation Plant, Victoria, Australia', viewed 11 April 2013 <http://www.water-technology.net/projects/wonthaggidesalinatio/> Plant is extremely expensive to build (A$3.5 billion) and will require ongoing expenditure (around A$600 million per annum) to maintain
This puts strain on local finance and spending
This in turn means taxes will increase for
the people of Victoria
Land cleared for the construction of the
desalinisation plant could be used for
other land uses which could bring
economic benefits, such as industrial or
agricultural development References Edwards, G. (2012) 'The Desalination Plant, the North-South Pipeline and the Welfare of Melburnians', 56th Annual Conference of Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, Esplanade Hotel, Fremantle, Western Australia, 8-10 February

McArthur, G. and Collier, K. (2011) 'Melbourne water users slapped with 'desal tax' despite recent floods', Herald Sun, 20 January, 2011 References Desalinisation plants consume a large amount of energy as a result of the desalinisation process
Depleting fossil fuels are used to supply this energy
Furthermore greenhouse gases are produced from the use of these fossil fuels
These greenhouse gases contribute to the enhanced greenhouse effect, which results in global warming (which has several adverse effects globally, e.g. melting of polar ice caps resulting in a rise in sea levels, etc.)
Desalinisation is not a very sustainable solution in terms of energy consumption and greenhouse gas pollution References eHow (2013) 'The Dissadvantages of Desalinisation' viewed 11 April 2013 <http://www.ehow.com/list_5961767_disadvantages-desalination.html>

Lattemann, S. and Hoepner, T. (2008) 'Environmental impact and impact assessment of seawater desalination' in Desalination, vol. 220, no. 1–3, pp. 1–15 Avlonitis, S.A., Kouroumbas, K. and Vlachakis, N. (2003) 'Energy consumption and membrane replacement cost for seawater RO desalination plants' in Desalination, vol. 157, no. 1-3, pp. 151–158

Global Greenhouse Warming (2013) 'Desalination' viewed 1 May 2013 <http://www.global-greenhouse-warming.com/desalination.html>

Lattemann, S. and Hoepner, T. (2008) 'Environmental impact and impact assessment of seawater desalination' in Desalination, vol. 220, no. 1–3, pp. 1–15 References Map showing the location and several information regarding the Wonthaggi desalinisation plant. Map courtesy of State Government Victoria Environmental Drawbacks 3 Conserve Energy Future (2013) 'Disadvantages Of Wind Energy' viewed 1 May 2013 <http://www.conserve-energy-future.com/Disadvantages_WindEnergy.php>

Leithead, W.E. (2007) 'Wind energy' in Philosophical transactions of the royal society A, vol. 365, pp. 957-970 References Is the proposed wind farm really an effective off-set?

Energy still needs to be produced to run the desalinisation plant
Wind farms are expensive to build and maintain, on top of the very high cost of the desalinisation plant
They also use fossil fuel energy and produce greenhouse gases in the construction process
They take up large amounts of space which could be used for alternative developments
Wind turbines are viewed negatively by some members of the public due to being viewed as visual and noise pollution By Sebastian Weiss (student ID: 557413)
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