Protecting Sydney's water security: Desalination plant activated 

Media release

27 January

To secure Sydney’s water supply during the drought, Sydney Water has today confirmed with the Sydney Desalination Plant that the plant is re-starting operations.

Today total dam storage levels have fallen below 60%, following a record dry spell over 2018. That’s the Metropolitan Plan trigger for re-starting the plant.

The plant has delivered water into Sydney Water’s water network before, from 2010 to 2012, in response to the Millennium drought.

Sydney Desalination Plant’s Chief Executive Officer, Keith Davies, said the plant will help ease the strain on Sydney’s water supply.

'We are expecting the plant to be producing water within three to four months, and to reach full capacity six to eight months after restart,' Mr Davies said.

'When it reaches full capacity, the plant can supply 250 megalitres of water a day, or 15% of Sydney’s daily water use. Sydney Desalination Plant and Sydney Water are working together to maximise production as soon as possible.”

While there has been some rain, water flows into the Sydney drinking water catchment remain at record lows. Over the past 18 months, we have seen the lowest inflow rate into our catchment dams since before 1940.

While the desalination plant will help meet the demand on Sydney’s water catchment, Sydney Water's Managing Director, Kevin Young said it’s up to everyone to help while the state remains in drought.

'Today’s announcement is a good opportunity to remind Sydneysiders to look at how they use water and find out about becoming water wise,' Mr Young said.

'We all need to do our bit to save water. A small saving by each of us can add up to a lot of water saved if most of the five million Sydneysiders get involved.
'Water is a valuable resource that we need to save throughout summer, particularly in the context of widespread drought.'

To find out more about ways to save water, visit our Water wise tips page.