Investing in cost-effective and climate-independent water sources will be vital in meeting the increasing demand for water by Victoria’s growing population, according to the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities (CRCWSC).
A recent article in the Herald Sun discussed the ‘All Things Considered’ report by Infrastructure Victoria, which recommends investment in alternative water sources such as recycled water for urban agricultural use and human consumption. The expansion of the Wonthaggi desalination plant has also been put forward as a concept requiring further development.
CRCWSC Chief Executive Professor Tony Wong welcomed a long term view of Victoria's infrastructure needs and the highlighting of water security as a core issue to economic growth.
“Victoria is recognised internationally for its water management. This is based on our proven expertise in water conservation and local, sustainable solutions. Investment should be directed towards solutions that strike an appropriate balance between these and traditional infrastructure options such as dams,” Professor Wong said.
Research has consistently shown that alternative water sources such as recycled wastewater and stormwater can play a much larger role in the portfolio of water sources to best serve the Melbourne metropolitan area into the future.
“This approach would prioritise these local solutions ahead of upgrading the Wonthaggi desalination plant. Local solutions are more nimble in responding to differing community aspirations, future uncertainties, and emerging technologies, while delivering multiple other community benefits,” Professor Wong added.
The CRCWSC includes world leading researchers from universities across Australia and experts from local and state governments, and water utilities and private industry.
Media contact: Professor Tony Wong 0403 438 323.