As outlined in the Metropolitan Water Plan, Sydney Desalination Plant was turned on when Sydney’s total dam storages fell below 60%.

The desalination plant is part of the New South Wales Government’s plan to ensure a secure and affordable water supply system for Greater Sydney. Desalination is one of the ways we can meet water demand when we’re faced with a prolonged drought as it is not reliant on rainfall.

Most states in Australia have at least one large desalination plant.

How much is the plant producing?

At full capacity, the plant can produce a yearly average of 250 million litres a day, which is about 15% of Sydney’s total water usage. 

From 27 March 2020, the plant is no longer operating at full capacity but it will remain operational for at least six months. This will help:

  •  ensure Greater Sydney has a flexible water supply
  •  maintain drinking water quality as there is an ongoing risk due to the bushfire ash and sediment washed into the water storages in February. 
We expect that the average household will pay up to $5.00 more in total to keep the plant running at reduced capacity compared to the cost of turning the plant off completely.

The plant can supply water to:
  • the Sydney CBD area
  • the inner west
  • the eastern suburbs
  • southern Sydney
  • parts of the Sutherland Shire
  • as far west as Auburn (at times).

If you live or work in these areas, you may receive water from the dams, the desalination plant or a combination of both. Find out which part of the water network supplies water to your property.
Map showing areas that may receive desalinated water

Customers in the highlighted areas may receive water from the dams, desalination plant or both.  


Drinking water quality

The desalination plant produces drinking water that meets the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.

See our Daily drinking water quality report to find out more about the water we supply to your property.

Girls drinking from a drinking water station

We protect your health by providing locally sourced, clean and safe drinking water.