Desal plant to be cranked up amid water restriction warning

Production at the Tugun desalination plant will be stepped up as dam levels across the south-east continue to drop.

While capacity at Hinze Dam is at 87.9 per cent, total storage levels for all dams in the south-east which supply water to the Gold Coast, Logan and Brisbane have fallen to 61.5 per cent.

Water restrictions would be introduced if dam levels plunge to 50 per cent, something that hasn’t been seen on the Gold Coast since 2008.


A report to Council in August warned restrictions would likely be implemented by late 2020 if dam levels continue to drop at this rate.

The desalination plant has the ability to produce 133 million litres of drinking water a day, equal to 50 Olympic sized swimming pools.

It only takes 72 hours for the plant to be cranked up to full capacity.

The desalinated water is then pumped to the Robina Reservoir at Clover Hill where it is mixed with treated water from Hinze Dam.

That water is then distributed across most of the Gold Coast but can also be pumped north to Brisbane.

However there are fears the move to increase production at the desal plant will see water bills soar.

It costs around $100,000 a day to keep the plant running, a cost likely to be passed on to households.