THE announcement this week that Eyre Peninsula could soon be home to a desalination plant has received mixed reviews.
While in town this week Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs (pictured) made the announcement that about 60 hectares of land out at Sleaford Bay had been purchased for the plant.
There has been plenty of talk about desalination plants over the years because the region’s water supply needs to be secured.
Former Member for Flinders Liz Penfold called for desalination plants for a long time, and current Member for Flinders Peter Treloar has also been keen to keep the discussion on desalination plants going.
And it is for good reason.
The majority of the Eyre Peninsula's reticulated water supply is extracted from the Uley Basin.
Since the announcement was made on Tuesday there have been a lot of comments made and concerns raised.
Some are to do with how much the plant will cost and how that will be covered, most likely it will come from bill payers.
Other comments were around what impact a plant would have on the environment.
But as Member for Flinders Peter Treloar said in today’s front page story – these things will all be worked out in a comprehensive public consultation period which will begin soon.
Whether a desalination plant is the most economic means of providing a long-term solution or not, any solution will not be decided upon and facilitated overnight, so consideration and planning for our future must start now.
Unless something is done, Port Lincoln’s water supply may become unusable.
By the time that happens, if it happens, there may not be any other options available.
This announcement is really about securing and supplementing the region’s water supply.
While there are extra issues surrounding the use of desalination plants, it seems like this could be the most sensible option to ensure the region’s water supplies continue to be maintained into the future.
It might not be perfect and it may not yet be a sure thing, but it is a plan for the future and that is more than the region had on Monday.