Why Desalination is Important

Sydney has highly variable rainfall and over the long term will continue to face droughts. Without desalination, Sydney’s water supply is entirely dependent on rainfall. Sydney Desalination Plant is a key component of Sydney’s water supply security and will help guarantee water supply even in years of drought.

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 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 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 Hill wind farm near Bungendore.

Water Efficiency

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

Visit the Metropolitan Water Directorate’s website for more information.