Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

Senator the Hon Don Farrell

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water

$3.8m to support Australia's world leading desalination research

Media release
04 September 2011
DF11/037

The National Centre of Excellence in Desalination Australia has offered $3.8m to fund 11 innovative new desalination research projects across Australia.

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, Senator Don Farrell, announced the successful projects at a ceremony today marking the opening of Australia's first dedicated national desalination research facility and Desal Discovery Centre.

"On the eve of the International World Congress in Desalination and Water Reuse in Perth, I'm delighted to announce these successful projects which represent further substantial investment in building Australia's growing expertise in desalination," Senator Farrell said.

"Australia's desalination research and development efforts, supported by the Australian Government's $20 million investment in the Centre of Excellence, are creating a competitive, world-class desalination industry. The outcomes of these world-leading projects will stretch across the globe creating a more sustainable and productive desalination industry.

Member for Brand Gary Gray welcomed the announcement of the projects to be funded.

"This is yet another example of how the Australian Government is investing in innovation to ensure our desalination industries are sustainable and internationally renowned," he said.

The National Centre of Excellence in Desalination Australia's chief executive, Neil Palmer, welcomed the research funding.

"Our centre scientists collaborate closely with industry to develop new commercially viable solutions," Mr Palmer said.

"Industry is making significant cash contributions to a number of these projects which is very encouraging.

"The new state-of-the-art Rockingham Desalination Research Facility will enable scale-up from bench to pilot processes, with potential for full scale commercial solutions. We also have a unique new Desal Discovery Centre where schoolchildren will learn about water science, and how desalination works."

Tomorrow, Senator Farrell will join WA Minister for Water, Bill Marmion, Sir Richard Branson (by live video link) and Singapore Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, as well as more than 1000 conference delegates for the Grand Opening of the International World Congress in Desalination and Water Reuse at the Perth Convention and Entertainment Centre.

The Australian Government established the National Centre of Excellence in Desalination through its Water for the Future initiative. For more information visit www.environment.gov.au/water and the NCEDA website at: www.desalination.edu.au

Project Title Principal University Principal Investigator Research participants
Brine Management Guidelines Victoria University Dr Peter Sanciolo Smart Water Fund, GWMWater and Integrated Elements
Assisted Forward Osmosis as a Novel Concept for Energy Savings in Reverse Osmosis Desalination University of New South Wales Dr Pierre Le-Clech University of Nevada and Nanyang Technological University
Assessing the Biofouling Role of Microbes in the Desalination System; from the Intake Pipe to the Reverse Osmosis Membranes Flinders University Dr Sophie Letermeo SA Water and Singapore Membrane Technology Centre
Evaluation of Non-Chemical Pulsed-Power Technology as an Antifoulding Pre-Treatment for Reverse Osmosis Desalination Membranes Victoria University Professor Stephen Gray AquaMem and SA Water
Membrane Adsorption Bioreactor Hybrid System as a Pre-Treatment to Reverse Osmosis Desalination Victoria University Professor Saravanamuth Vigneswaran Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Singapore Membrane Technology Centre and The University of New South Wales
Continuous Silica Removal during Desalination for Increased Water Recovery Victoria University Dr Nicholas Milne, Dr Peter Sanciolo and Professor Stephen Gray Origin Energy
Fibre-Optic Sensor for Water Quality Monitoring Edith Cowan University Professor Kamal Alameh - -
The Optimisation and Improvement of Direct Filtration Pre-Treatment to Reduce both Organic and Bio-Fouling of Reverse Osmosis Membranes University of Technology Sydney Professor Saravanamuth Vigneswaran ProAlliance, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Singapore Membrane Technology Centre, Curtin University and The University of New South Wales
Transverse Vibrational Motion Enhanced Submerged Hollow Fibre Membrane Crystallizer University of New South Wales Professor Vicky Chen Singapore Membrane Technology Centre
Modelling, Monitoring and Control of Reverse Osmosis Biofouling Murdoch Murdoch University Dr Ralf Cord-Ruwisch Nanyang Technological University, AquaMem, Valoriza and University of Alicante
Smart Materials for Corrosion Management Deakin University Professor Maria Forsytho Monash University, Ohio State University, AECOM, ASIS Scientific Pty Ltd and AusComposites