25/06/2009 - 09:42

Pilbara water demand to double by 2030

25/06/2009 - 09:42

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A survey has revealed water demand in the Pilbara region to more than double in the next 20 years, highlighting the need for sustainable water management, the Chamber of Minerals and Energy WA says.

Pilbara water demand to double by 2030

A survey has revealed water demand in the Pilbara region to more than double in the next 20 years, highlighting the need for sustainable water management, the Chamber of Minerals and Energy WA says.

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The announcement is below:

 

 

The recently released Pilbara Water Pre-Feasibility Study highlights the need for sustainable water management in the Pilbara, according to the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (CME).

The study is forecasting total demand in the Pilbara to more than double in the next 20 years, representing an increase of 90 gigalitres per year in 2007 to 214 gigalitres a year in 2030.

CME Chief Executive Mr Reg Howard-Smith said the increases in demand are considerable and require careful management.

"For example iron ore mining water demand will be increasing from 56 gigalitres a year at present to 124 gigalitres a year in 2030.

"These figures are consistent with the recent CME study on the State's Growth Outlook which forecast future demand for people, water and energy at State and regional level," Mr Howard-Smith said.

Mr Howard-Smith said the Pilbara study, prepared for the Department of Water, is to be commended in the broad approach taken to evaluate 13 different supply options including mine water discharge, groundwater and desalination.

"The Study also highlights the future competition for water use and it is essential that realistic planning and allocations are made," he said.

CME notes the study does not regard mine discharge water as sustainable long term supplies but may provide some short term economic benefits to the region.

"These opportunities need to be fully evaluated and the move to the next stage of a full feasibility study is welcomed. It is essential that industry is closely consulted on the development and refinement of these options.

"Water availability is seen as a potential constraint on future growth and development and the new feasibility study must arrive at practical long term solutions.

"The Pilbara is the nation's economic powerhouse and it needs careful, thorough and timely planning. This study will make a significant contribution to the region's future development," Mr Howard-Smith said.

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