Irrigators say South Australia’s desalination plant could pump 50GL into the Murray

30 May 2018

Tory Shepherd, The Advertiser
30 May 2018

The $1.8 billion plant has been chugging along slowly to produce some drinking water, but the National Irrigators’ Council say it could be properly fired up to contribute to the 450 gigalitres promised for South Australia under the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.

SA Water uses the cheapest water first, which is taken from reservoirs or the River Murray.

The plant, which costs $13.5 million a year to run, was widely derided as a white elephant, whereas SA Water describes it as an insurance policy in case the state hits serious drought conditions again.

An Ernst & Young report released this year suggested 50GL from the plant could be used instead of other efficiency measures as long as the increased costs of running the plant were offset.

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