Let's talk desal

10 July 2019

As Melburnians, we’re using the same amount of water as we did in 1980 – even though our population has doubled. This shows that Melbourne has done a great job continuing to be water wise beyond the millennium drought.

But with our fast-growing population and drier weather conditions, our water storages reached their lowest this year since 2011 – at just 50 per cent full.

Even with Melbourne’s water wise behaviour, the challenge we’re facing is that there’s more of us than ever, and we’re using more water than we’re getting from rain.

That’s where the desalination (desal) plant comes in. We’ve recently placed our largest order yet for 125 billion litres from the desal plant, which will provide about a quarter of Melbourne’s annual water usage. Desal water started flowing into Cardinia Reservoir in mid-June.

What you need to know about desal water

  • It’s safe to drink and meets all of the drinking water regulations and guidelines
  • You won’t be able to taste the difference. After all, we’ve had desal water in our water supply since 2016.

What it costs

  • An average increase of around $2.50 a bill right across Melbourne (if you're a resident). 
  • Around 24 cents more for every 1,000 litres of water you use  (if you run a business). 

Keeping water wise

While the desal plant is helping to provide a buffer against drought, it’s still important to use water wisely and aim for Target 155 – using 155 litres of water per person per day. Find out more about how you can save water around the home at southeastwater.com.au/why

Planning for the future

Making an order from the desal plant is just one of the ways we’re planning ahead to make sure our customers can always rely on us for safe, clean drinking water every day. We’re also expanding our recycled water network and finding new ways to capture and use water from all parts of the water cycle over and over again.