Water Journal : Water Journal September 2012-1
industry news regular features 20 SEPTEMBER 2012 water East Coast Encouraged to Follow WA's Drought-Proofing Example Australia's east coast urban planners and state governments need to hold their nerve on using major seawater desalination plants for effective drought-proofing and not give in to short- term politics and vocal minorities, says National Centre of Excellence in Desalination Australia CEO Neil Palmer. Mr Palmer says Western Australia's foresight in embracing desalination early by building two plants to eventually supply half of Perth's water has paid off. Perth has just experienced its driest July since records began, with dams receiving only 5.4 billion litres of inflow this year -- the same amount of water Perth uses in five hot summer days (see graph, below). Water Corporation has stated that Perth would be in a very concerning situation with its public drinking water supply if not for the Perth Seawater Desalination Plant and Southern Seawater Desalination Plant. "Investment in desalination is a long-term water security insurance plan, so astute east coast planners will know that even though it's raining now, forecast cycles of drought and climate change will push cities to the brink if desal plants are not there for the dry years." Ice Melt Highlights Sea Level Risk New NASA data shows unprecedented melting on the Greenland ice sheet, reports the Climate Commission. On 8 July this year, 40 per cent of the surface of the ice sheet showed signs of melting; just four days later, it was 97 per cent. "This is extremely disturbing," said Professor Lesley Hughes. "This shows that some changes to the earth are happening much faster than any of us previously thought." NASA has found that it is easily the largest area of melting recorded over the past 30 years of satellite observations, and the fastest scientists have ever seen. In a normal summer, about half of the surface of the ice sheet starts to melt; this year almost the entire surface is melting. Nearly the entire ice cover of Greenland, from its thin, low-lying coastal edges to its two-mile-thick centre, experienced some degree of melting at its surface, according to measurements from three independent satellites analysed by NASA and university scientists. "Melting and ice discharge from Greenland make significant contributions to the increased rate of sea-level rise that we are now observing," says Professor Will Steffen. "Observations like this are a clear warning that, by the end of this century, the sea level could well rise by a metre or more compared to 1990. Even more worrying is that the Greenland ice sheet could reach the point of no return -- the point at which we cannot prevent the loss of most or all of the ice sheet -- earlier than we thought. "This puts more pressure on the world's largest emitters, such as Australia, to achieve rapid and deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions if we are to avoid condemning our descendants to several metres of sea-level rise." For more information see: www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/ features/greenland-melt.html Call 1300 735 123 to find out more about our Data Supply Rental Service options Stormwater, Sewer & Trade Waste / Wastewater & Re-Use / Rivers, Reservoirs & Organics / Com::pass feed forward coagulation control Know what's happening in your water every minute of every day DCM Process Control specialises in "real-time" water quality parameter measurement utilising the s::can range of UV/Vis spectro::lyser's in both the water and wastewater industries. Our unique in-situ water characterisation capabilities are ideal for optimisation, event detection, design, water security and plant control processes. The multi-parameter s::can spectro::lyser has NO moving parts, NO reagents or consumables and is fully submersible. Eliminate the guesswork. PHOTO: WATER CORPORATION Perth Desalination Plant.
Water Journal November 2012-1
Water Journal August 2012