Why Desalination is Important

Sydney’s water supply is entirely dependent on rainfall.

The Sydney Desalination Plant has always been and will continue to be, an essential component of Sydney’s water management and an integral part of Sydney’s water resilient future.

2017 Metropolitan Water Plan

The NSW Government’s 2017 Metropolitan Water Plan ensures a secure, cost effective and sustainable water supply for Greater Sydney. The Metropolitan Water Plan includes: dams, recycling, desalination and water efficiency.


Sydney’s network of 11 major interconnected dams provides most of Sydney’s water, even with increased water recycling and desalination. Sydney has one of the largest per capita water storages in the world. Investment in maintaining and upgrading Sydney’s network of dams will ensure that they continue to supply the majority of Sydney’s drinking water.


Water recycling is treating and reusing wastewater, greywater and stormwater for non-drinking purposes. 


Desalination is an important, non-rainfall dependent part of the NSW Government’s approach to securing Sydney’s water supply, and can provide up to 15% of Sydney’s water. The Sydney Desalination Plant will operate at full capacity to supply Sydney Water’s network when total dam storage level falls below 60% and will continue to do so until total dam storage level reaches 70% – with 100% of its power needs offset by the Capital Wind Farm near Bungendore.

Water Efficiency

Water efficiency programs, including rebates and business programs, and trialing new water efficient technologies.