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  • Perth's two desalination plants, initiated by previous Labor governments, have now produced one trillion litres of drinking water
  • Climate change continues to impact water supplies in the south-west corner of WA
  • Desalination now provides about half of the water for the two million people connected to the Water Corporation 

Perth's two desalination plants reached a significant milestone recently - producing one trillion litres of drinking water from the Indian Ocean since opening.


How much is one trillion litres of water? Imagine Optus Stadium filled about 1,000 times or about 444,444 Olympic-size swimming pools.


The Perth Seawater Desalination Plant in Naval Base was commissioned by the Gallop Labor Government and opened by the Carpenter Labor Government. It began producing water in late 2006 and was the first large scale plant in Australia, and the largest in the southern and eastern hemispheres when it was constructed. It can produce 45 billion litres of drinking water each year, however, it regularly produces more than this.


In 2007, then Premier Alan Carpenter made the decision to invest in a second plant, the Southern Seawater Desalination Plant near Binningup. The plant was built in two stages and first began producing water in 2011.  It can supply up to 100 billion litres of water each year. 


Investment in desalination has been vital to secure water supplies in response to climate change. 


Notwithstanding the success of the desalination plants in WA, the continuing impact of climate change means Perth still faces a challenging water future and we cannot become complacent.


The drying trend associated with climate change is particularly strong between May and July over south-west Western Australia, with rainfall since 1970 about 19 per cent less than the long-term average.  Since 1996, this decline from the long-term average has increased to about 25 per cent.


The Integrated Water Supply Scheme provides nearly 300 billion litres of water to Perth, the Goldfields and Agricultural region, and parts of the South-West each year.


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Comments attributed to Water Minister Dave Kelly:


"The McGowan Labor Government, just like Labor governments of the past, understands the profound impacts climate change is having on our water supplies in the south-west corner of WA.


"If it weren't for innovative Labor governments of the past committing to desalination, Perth most probably would have faced a water crisis.


"It is inevitable that as climate change continues to hammer the south-west corner of our State, another expensive climate-independent water source will be required.


"That is why we are encouraging everyone to be more waterwise around our homes and businesses.


"If we all do our bit, we can put off the need for another climate-independent water source which would be debt-funded and paid for by all taxpayers in the long run."

Media Enquiries:

Contact: Minister's office

Phone: 6552 6100