Water Quantity

When operating, the Sydney Desalination Plant maximises the production of drinking water when Sydney catchment storage levels fall below 60% and until the storage levels rise to 70%.

The Sydney Desalination Plant forms part of the initiatives in the NSW Government’s Metropolitan Water Plan which seeks to secure Sydney’s water supply against the effects of climate change, population growth and drought.

The plant can supply up to 250 million litres of water a day, which is up to 15% of Sydney’s current water needs. The plant is capable of being scaled up to double its capacity if required in the future.

The Metropolitan Water Plan prescribes the operating rules for the plant. The rules from the recently released 2017 Metropolitan Water Plan are included in the Sydney Desalination Plant’s Network Infrastructure Operator’s Licence. The licence requires the Sydney Desalination Plant to operate and maintain its infrastructure with the objective of maximising the production of drinking water when Sydney catchment storage levels fall below 60% and until storage levels reach 70%. 

For more information on securing Sydney’s water supply, including water use, minimisation and demand management visit Metropolitan Water Plan.