The Southern Seawater Desalination Plant south of Mandurah is expected to begin feeding additional water into the Perth and South West integrated water supply scheme in coming months following a $450 million expansion.
Premier Colin Barnett officially opened the expanded plant today. The State Government announced it was pushing ahead with the second phase of the plant’s construction in August 2011 to "drought proof" Perth.
The expansion has doubled the capacity of the plant from 50 billion litres of water to 100 billion litres.
The plant will begin operating at full capacity and feeding more water into Perth’s water supply after water pumps from Germany are tested throughout March.
Mr Barnett said that, once fully operational, the plant would enable desalination plants to provide almost half of Perth’s water needs.
An additional 45 billion litres is available from the Perth Seawater Desalination Plant, at Kwinana.
Water Minister Bill Marmion said the supply and security of desalination was proving invaluable for Western Australia.
“Without desalination, Perth would have been subject to severe sprinkler bans, as occurred on the east coast, and almost total reliance on groundwater sources.”