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Worley Parsons EcoNomics™ assessment

EcoNomics™ Assessment of Sustainable Water Management Strategies for Greater Adelaide – Project Summary Report, Worley Parsons (2009)

The assessment undertaken in Worley Parsons (2009) complements the findings of the KPMG water demand and supply scenarios (2009).

Worley Parsons (2009) considered the financial, social, and environmental implications of nine augmentation and demand management options to address projected shortfalls in Greater Adelaide’s water supplies to 2050. These options were: 

  1. Expansion of the Port Stanvac Desalination Plant to 100 gigalitres (GL)
  2. Recycled stormwater to greenfield developments for third pipe systems
  3. Recycled wastewater to greenfield developments for third pipe systems
  4. Recycled stormwater to existing developed areas for third pipe systems
  5. Major stormwater recycling schemes, treatment and indirect potable reuse
  6. Permanent purchase of permanent Murray-Darling Basin water
  7. Temporary purchase of temporary Murray-Darling Basin water
  8. Expansion of the Mount Lofty Ranges storage combined with temporary Murray-Darling Basin water purchase
  9. Demand management.

As with KPMG (2009), the assessment was based on South Australia’s population reaching two million by 2027. Under these assumptions the population of Greater Adelaide would expand from 1.25 million to approximately 2.1 million by 2050.

The Worley Parsons (2009) assessment provided an overall ranking of the nine options − not only from a socio-economic perspective, but also in terms of security and susceptibility to changes in the value and scarcity of water, including due to climate change.

Worley Parsons (2009) found that doubling the capacity of the desalination plant was one of only three large scale options capable of meeting Greater Adelaide’s projected water shortfalls economically and sustainably.

In particular, Worley Parsons (2009) found that Greater Adelaide’s water security to 2050 is best assured by deploying the following options (in the following order):

  1. Comprehensive demand management strategies (25 GL/yr)
  2. Expansion of the existing desalination plant (an additional 50 GL/yr)
  3. Permanent purchase of Murray-Darling Basin water (up to 50 GL/yr).

The State Government adopted the first two options, along with other diversification measures in Water for Good, to secure Adelaide’s water supplies to 2050. However, the government rejected the purchase of additional water from the Murray Darling Basin because it was not in line with South Australia’s long term support for a sustainable and healthy river.

With respect to desalination, Worley Parsons (2009) did not take explicit account of federal funding announced for the doubling of the Adelaide Desalination Plant, but noted that such funding would further improve its financial viability.

Finally, while Worley Parsons’ findings were not published at the time, a summary of its findings were included in Water for Good (2009) on pages 116 to 121.

See the full report.

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