Environmentalists weigh in on desalination debate
MANDATORY rainwater tanks for all new dwellings will be put forward by the Sunshine Coast Environmental Council as opposed to a desalination plant.
The baby boomer generation will remember the days when rainwater tanks were compulsory, begging the question, why were they removed?
SCEC has been working closely with Unitywater and Seqwater on future strategies but said the idea of building a plant so close to the coastline was laden with issues.
SCEC spokeswoman Narelle McCarthy has called for a more conservative approach to the Coast's water issues.
"We have the largest consumption of water per person in southeast Queensland, so the community needs educating on the conservative measures," Ms McCarthy said.
"Desalination does have a lot of issues. One of those is how energy intensive it is. We need to protect our marine environment and there are so many factors there.
"There have been some suggestions of a plant near Bribie Island, but any disturbance to the marine environment and infrastructure involved across the beach is an issue.
"Recycled water is preferred. The community needs to understand about recycled water and the recapture and reuse methods."
A desalination plant had been proposed for inside the airport precinct which was not supported at the time by SCEC.
Seqwater will be desperate to avoid a similar scenario to the $1.2 billion Gold Coast plant at Tugun, which has only been used temporarily since its construction in 2010.
Ms McCarthy said a desalination plant was "very expensive" to shut down and start up.
A simple street walk and talk with locals at Mooloolaba showed most were against a desalination plant idea.
Brodie Sharman: "There are too many questions about it, and the one down the Gold Coast barely runs. They're too big."
Mark McRae: "We need to look at it logically. A desalination plant should only be a last resort. Surely technology will find something better in 22 years."
Julie Copley: "It is a potential eyesore that would ruin views and be a problem for the environment. It is an easy way out."
In a letter to the editor, Bli Bli's Robyn Deane said a plant would raise too many concerns.
"There are rightly many concerns about a desalination plant and not just the visual amenity of such a plant on our beautiful coastal strip. Will it affect our precious turtle nesting areas?
"Desalination plants use a lot of energy, contributing to carbon emissions as well as producing brine after processing sea water.
"They are expensive to build, but then any infrastructure is, dams certainly are."