The need for better commercial water treatment systems in Sydney will be more apparent due to the possibility of water restrictions in the near future. Some experts believe that these restrictions should be imposed sooner because of the record-low volume of drinking in the city’s catchment area. Production estimates showed that the catchment area might have only 83 gigalitres of water by the end of 2018.
The last water shortage in Sydney happened in 2004, when the city’s catchment area had only 234 gigalitres of water. Hence, the estimates for this year are somehow concerning for officials. Desalination plants seem to be a solution, but operating these facilities require a hefty price tag.
For instance, Sydney Water may need to spend more than $237 million to operate the desalination plant at Kurnell each year. The amount means that each household would have to pay an additional $129 per year for the facility’s operations. The expensive price to use the desalination plant prompted calls for water restrictions to prevent a looming shortage.
Sydney has placed restrictions on water consumption nine years ago, and those were effective in saving water in the same sense that a desalination plant would provide a bigger supply. Despite concerns on a water crisis, state-owned WaterNSW said that the city will have a steady supply of water until mid-2020.
Still, the need for preventive measures remains necessary. The city’s supply of water may not last for two years amid a growing population.
It remains to be seen whether Sydney’s drinking water supply will fall to an all-time low this year, but the public and private sector should not wait for that to happen before taking action. Sustainable measures for conservation will be more important, particularly for recycling wastewater to reduce the need for using fresh supplies.