Communities talk desal plant project

SA Water has been touring Eyre Peninsula to engage with communities relating to the plans for a new desalination plant at Sleaford Bay.

Open day sessions have been hosted in a number of towns, including recently in Cowell, to allow residents the opportunity to offer feedback during the planning stages.

SA Water’s stakeholder engagement advisor Chloe Ringwood said they had spoken to a number of people in communities throughout the region about the proposed plant, which she said would allow for greater water security on Eyre Peninsula.

“The idea is to know what is important to communities,” she said.

“People have been supportive of the idea of a desal plant for water security, with some concerns around the location regarding visual amenity, noise and marine impact, but people understand there needs to be a solution.”

The current Eyre Peninsula water supply has a majority of supply from the Uley South Basin, but also includes 24 per cent from the Morgan‐Whyalla system, which provides filtered River Murray water.

The proposed plant would eliminate the need for water coming from outside the region.

The construction of a desalination plant would see the water supplied across Eyre Peninsula be a blend of groundwater and desalinated seawater, helping to ensure the sustainability and longevity of the basin and helping to improve aspects of water quality such as water hardness and taste.

The size of the desalination plant and the blending ratio of groundwater to desalinated water will be determined from further investigation and planning work.

“There is a lot of work and planning that is going into this and many phases of research and investigation,” Ms Ringwood said.

“We think it will be a positive for the region.”

Ms Ringwood said Eyre Peninsula residents and property owners wishing to discuss the proposed desalination plant could do so on SA Water’s ‘Water Talks’ site.

To join the conversation, head to www.watertalks.sawater.com.au – people will need to register with the site to be part of the discussion.

Only Eyre Peninsula residents are eligible to join the conversations.