Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

Senator the Hon Don Farrell

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water

$2.7 Million boost for desalination research

Media release
16 May 2012
DF12/028

Ten new innovative desalination research projects will share in $2.7 million from the Australian Government funded National Centre of Excellence in Desalination Australia (NCEDA).

Speaking at the opening of NCEDA's International Intakes and Outfalls Workshop in Adelaide today, Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, Senator Don Farrell, announced the outcome of the Centre's fourth round of funding for Australian desalination science.

"Australia now has 44 world class desalination research projects advancing Australian science and ingenuity while safeguarding the national public water interest," Senator Farrell said.

"Our ongoing commitment to the nation's water security is also creating opportunities for employment and sustainable growth, while consolidating our place on the international stage in the desalination and water sector."

Senator Farrell said the 2012 funding allocation highlights the Australian Government's commitment to a sustainable, climate-resilient water future.

"Many of the fourth round projects address social, economic and environmental issues surrounding desalination," he said.

"These projects align with the Centre's mission to optimise desalination technology for use in Australia's unique circumstances; to develop suitable technology for use in rural and regional areas and to reduce desalination's carbon footprint."

CEO Neil Palmer said the Centre was delighted to fund new Australian desalination research. There has been a focus on renewable energy solutions, with one of the projects proposing to use geothermally-heated groundwater to power desalination. Projects funded in previous rounds have included solar-powered desalination and innovative use of waste heat generated from large-scale minerals processing.

"Further reduction of the energy consumption of desal plants and fast-tracking new green technologies will continue to reduce the carbon footprint of the Australian water and desalination industry and make us more competitive internationally," Mr Palmer said.

A further $4.9 million of in-kind contributions and $535,000 in additional funding from participating organisations and research participants will bring $8.1 million of new investment into Australian desalination research. The Australian Government via its Water for the Future Initiative has allocated $12.3 million for the Centre's four funding rounds.

Information on successful projects attached. For more information see the Centre website at: www.desalination.edu.au

Round four projects
Title Principal University PrincipalInvestigator (s) Other Research Participants
RESILIENT DESALINATION PRE-TREATMENT OF SALINE SECONDARY EFFLUENT BY CERAMIC MEMBRANES Victoria University A/Prof Mikel Duke Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, City West Water, Melbourne Water, Water Quality Research Australia
WEB-BASED PUBLIC INTERFACE TOOL FOR CLIMATE-RESILIENT WATER SOURCES (CREWS) Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation Dr Shiroma Maheepala Bureau of Meteorology, Australian Water Recycling Centre of Excellence
OPTIMAL WATER SUPPLY SOURCES FOR RESILIENT URBAN AND REMOTE COMMUNITIES - A REVIEW OF CURRENT AUSTRALIAN AND INTERNATIONAL GOVERNANCE ARRANGEMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR LAW REFORMS TO PROMOTE RESILIENCE IN AUSTRALIAN ARRANGEMENTS University of South Australia Prof Jennifer McKay Valoriza Water Australia, Acciona Water, Australia, Ernst & Young, HATCH
OPTIMISING SWRO CONCENTRATE DISCHARGE DURING "HOT STANDBY" OPERATION University of Queensland Dr Badin Gibbes Seqwater, BMT WBM, Veolia Water Australia
OPPORTUNITIES FOR DESALINATION IN AUSTRALIAN AGRICULTURE Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation Dr Olga Barron Valoriza Agua, University of Alicante, Spain
PRE-FEASIBILITY INVESTIGATION OF WATER AND ENERGY OPTIONS UTILISING GEOTHERMAL ENERGY, MULTI-EFFECT DISTILLATION AND REVERSE OSMOSIS The University of Western Australia Prof Klaus Regenauer-Lieb CSIRO Land and Water, Pilbara Cities Office of Department of Regional Development, Water Corporation, WA Department of Water
EXTRACTION OF WATER AND MINERALS FROM COAL SEAM GAS PRODUCED WATER FOR BENEFICIAL USE University of Wollongong Dr Long Nghiem Victoria University, AGL, Osmoflo, Colorado School of Mines, Sasakura, AquaStill
BRINE MANAGEMENT USING ECUBETM ACCELERATED EVAPORATION Victoria University A/Prof Jun-De Li AVIVAPURE
DESALINATION WITHIN SUPPLY NETWORKS: EXPLORING AND COMMUNICATING THE BIGGER PICTURE FOR WATER, TECHNOLOGY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Deakin University Prof Michael Porter Griffith University, University of Technology, Sydney, Curtin University, The University of Western Australia
FORWARD OSMOSIS AS A LOW ENERGY AND HIGH EFFICIENT PRE-TREATMENT PROCESS FOR RO DESALINATION University of South Australia Prof Linda Zou SA Water, KWR Watercycle Research Institute (Netherlands), Modern Water plc