Perth is the fourth-largest city in Australia at 2 million people, and experienced more than 28% population growth between 2006 and 2016. It’s the capital and largest city of Western Australia. Water Corporation is the principal supplier of water, wastewater and drainage services in greater Perth and Western Australia and meets the needs of hundreds of thousands of homes, businesses and farms, as well as providing bulk water to farms for irrigation. It’s opened and operated by the Western Australian Government. Historically Perth relied on both groundwater and rain-fed dams, but reductions in rainfall combined with population growth the city had led Water Corporation to pursue desalination and other strategies to manage water stress and scarcity.
Perth has two seawater desalination plants that produces nearly half of the city’s water supply. The Perth Seawater Desalination Plant started producing water in 2006 and produces 45 billion liters of fresh drinking water annually (18% of the city’s supply). Much of the electricity for the Plant comes from the nearby Emu Downs Wind Farm. The Southern Seawater Desalination Plant, in operation since 2011 in Binningup, produces up to 100 billion liters of fresh drinking water (30% of the city’s supply). Water Corporation is exploring the feasibility of new desalination plants in anticipation of future population growth, climate change and additional water stress, but there’s no firm time frame to build and incorporate them into Perth’s Integrated Water Supply Scheme.
The Water Corporation recycles treated sewage from its wastewater treatment plants, and treats it again to meet drinking water standards before using it to replenish the city’s groundwater. The largest industrial water recycling plant, the Kwinana Water Recycling Plan, provides about 17 million litres per day of high quality recycled water to via a dedicated pipe network to large industrial customers. The city is committed to recycling 45% of its wastewater by 2030 as part of contributing to Western Australia’s climate resilience.