The Desalination Proposal Is A Loser For The Environment And Household Water Bills, The Greens Say.

Greens environment spokesperson, Greg Barber MLC said: "The Bracks government's proposal for desalination is reportedly for a 150 000 ML plant at a cost of $3 billion dollars. Based on past estimates*, that would generate around 1 million tonnes of CO2."

"One million households in Melbourne don't have a water efficient showerhead. If the government paid for the installation of these, it would save 50,000 megalitres of water at half the cost of desalinated water and end up saving us money on our water bills. That's just a start on the water savings that could be made."

"This proposal is a loser for the environment, greenhouse gases and the household budget."

"Boosting the renewable electricity component is no solution because we already need to double our renewable target and cut electricity use, not increase use."

* For info on the greenhouse emissions of desalination, see: Greenhouse implications of the proposed Sydney desalination plant Australia Institute Webpaper July 2005 http://www.tai.org.au/documents/downloads/WP78.pdf

Their estimate was for a 182 ML per year plant = 945 000 tonnes of eCO2 per year. Note this is sensitive to the 'greenhouse intensity' of the mix of electricity, which in the case of Victorian electricity is more greenhouse intensive.

-- Greg Barber MLC

State Member of Parliament for Northern Metropolitan

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