Rains buy time to ditch new desalination and plan smarter

The recent rains across parts of New South Wales provide breathing space for better long-term resource planning to ensure water is secure and affordable into the future.

PIAC calls on the state government to hit pause on the proposed expansion of the Sydney Desalination Plant while having a more considered conversation about better water use, recycling, conservation and pricing.

‘Desalination is inefficient and expensive and should only be a last resort. It already costs every NSW household $85 a year, even when it’s not in use.’ said Douglas McCloskey, Policy Officer, Public Interest Advocacy Centre.

‘The recent rains and boost to dam levels have not changed the long-term issues facing the state’s water resources. Most of our state remains in long term water shortage, and the changing climate means we cannot rely on water resources being as available and reliable as they have been in the past’, said Mr McCloskey.

‘Water equivalent to 80% of our daily needs is treated and flushed into the ocean after being used just once. There is much opportunity to future-proof our water supply with recycling and reuse’, said Mr McCloskey.

PIAC also calls for the current review of the Metropolitan Water plan for Sydney to be opened up to a public process to allow greater community input and to re-focus it on making the most of the water we have.

Affordable and sustainable access to water is essential for the community and PIAC welcomes Minister Pavey’s statements that all options are ‘on the table’. With the recent rains giving Sydney’s water supply a buffer, it’s time to have a long overdue conversation about recycling and using our water better.

MEDIA CONTACTS: PIAC Communications Officer for water, Anna Livsey: 0478 739 280.

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