Desalination research facility opens in Perth

Australia's first dedicated desalination research facility opened today in Perth, Australia, at Murdoch University's Rockingham campus...

PERTH, AUSTRALIA, Sept. 4, 2011 -- Australia's first dedicated desalination research facility opened today in Perth, Australia. The AUD$5 million facility at Murdoch University's Rockingham campus will provide a venue for researching and developing new technologies for desalination, including the use of nanotechnology, solar power, recycling of desalination membranes, and monitoring of marine life.

The facility also features a Desal Discovery Center where schoolchildren will learn about water science and how desalination works. It features an Edulab for hands-on water science and a 3D multimedia conference center. School tours will begin in 2012.

The facilities will house the National Center of Excellence in Desalination Australia (NCEDA), a consortium of 13 universities and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) collaborating to improve desalination technology with Australian and international research institutions, private companies, water and power utilities, and government agencies.

The new research facility is supported by a AUD$20 million investment from the Australian Government. In addition to 22 research projects already identified for study, an additional 11 new research projects were announced at the facility opening today. These new projects were made possible by an additional AUD$3.8 million investment from NCEDA.

NCEDA was established by the Australian Government's Water for the Future initiative following significant rapid investment in seawater desalination in all mainland state capitals and huge growth in desalination worldwide as a sustainable solution to long term water shortages from drought and climate change.

NCEDA CEO Neil Palmer said that by the end of 2012 up to half of all of Perth's and Adelaide's public water needs will come from desalination. Australia's six major coastal desal plants are capable of supplying 35% of major capital cities' water.

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