Private sector eyes Sydney Water


Borrowing from Peter to pay Paul? “The problem is very solvable and there are at least three ways you can address it.” Water diverted from the Snowy Hydro Scheme and irrigators on the Murrumbidgee could supplement water being taken from the Shoalhaven catchment. “You could link the Shoalhaven to the Snowy and Murrumbidgee. That may be too expensive, but it is possible,” he said.

Desal still on the backburner: “The third option, which means all this is solvable, is desalination.” Mr Sims acknowledged desalination used a large amount of energy, but said even with a carbon tax on electricity it would produce water at prices Sydney people could pay.

High-tech desal using less energy: And United Utilities managing director Graham Dooley said the amount of energy required for desalination was dropping year by year thanks to technological advances.

Govt could use a hand: Mr Sims argued the private sector should be allowed to compete with Sydney Water. “Then you would have a lot of people trying to solve the problem, rather than the Government feeling it has to solve it all,” he said.

Recycling in southern industrial area: United Utilities has just won a tender to take effluent from Cronulla sewage treatment plant in the city’s south and process it for use at Caltex’s oil refinery at nearby Kurnell.

The Australian, 2/9/2006, p. 10

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