AGL have announced their intention to invest in a new desalination plant, which will purify water from the Gloucester gas project.
The plant has been proposed to use reverse-osmosis as the primary water treatment process for saline waste water produced by the fracking process at Gloucester, as part of their Extracted Water Management Strategy.
The proposed plant will be capable of processing two megalitres of water per day.
AGL manager of hydrogeology John Ross has said the desalinated water can be used for irrigation, and that the resulting salt will be crystallised and disposed of at a licenced facility.
A water report produced by Gloucester Shire Council has shown that the desalinated water can be used in other local sectors.
“There are so many beneficial uses for the freshwater once it has been desalinated,” Ross said.
“Our draft strategy proposes that the freshwater can be used for irrigation, however, we are looking at ways to make the water available to third parties in the local area.
“This could include some of the preferred options in the Council’s report, such as new industries, aquaculture, irrigating green areas in Gloucester and forestry.”
Ross said reverse osmosis is used to treat brackish and saline water both in Australia and around the world.
AGL’s draft Extracted Water Management Strategy will be circulated to regulatory agencies in accordance with AGL’s approval conditions.
Community consultation workshops are planned to be held in Gloucester late next month.
AGL will also make the draft strategy available to the community both online and in information sessions, with an exhibition period of four weeks.