Membranes and Desalination

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Mission Statement 

The Membranes & Desalination Specialist Network is committed to raise the awareness of the use of membrane and desalination technologies for supply, reuse, reclamation, purification, and treatment to improve Australia’s management of the precious resource - water. 

This Association's specialist network has a mission to enhance communication and networking among industry peers. Using the extensive knowledge, research, and ‘real life’ experience gained in Australia from the early 1970’s, we will seek to promote membrane and desalination technologies for the treatment of brackish groundwater, saline mine water, seawater, industrial water and innovative water reuse. As part of this mission, we seek to encourage research, the dissemination of information, and to support education in the fields of membrane and desalination in Australia.

We are also committed to assist with improving communication to the Australian community about desalination and water reuse, and the critical role they have in providing reliable and sustainable sources of water to achieve water security across Australia.

Australia's Wealth of Desalination Experience

Reverse osmosis (RO), micro filtration (MF) and ultra-filtration (UF) membranes are the essential components for drinking water systems, water recycling and reclamation and brackish water desalination.

Australia is at the forefront of the application of membrane and desalination technology. For example, we were the first in the world to apply RO membrane technology for a capital city -  the Perth Sea Water RO Project (144 MLD potable water capacity  installed in 2006) which was followed in 2012 by a second SWRO facility -  the Southern Seawater RO Project (320 MLD potable water capacity). Perth now relies on half its water supply (149.8 billion litres in 2016-17) from these two desal plants which have been operated successfully with a high reliability and have embraced advances in membrane and RO desalination technologies.

In S.E Qld,  RO desalination technology has been applied in remote inland locations to treat saline groundwater (with a RO plant capacity exceeding 400MLD) for the coal seam gas (CSG) industry which includes 100MLD and 90MLD facilities (the largest inland RO plants in the world) which have extensive pre-treatment (including UF and WAC IX) and high recovery RO desalination systems (target recovery of > 90% is also a world first). The RO brine concentrate is further concentrated using 3 x 3.3 MLD thermal brine concentrators. 

The Association has enhanced the communication of membrane and desalination technology knowledge by establishing seminars and conferences since 1985. The Associaition convened the Membranes & Desalination Specialty (MDS) I conference in Adelaide in 2005, MDS II in Melbourne in 2007, and MDS III in Sydney in 2009. The Association has also supported global desalination and water reuse conferences by the International Desalination Association (IDA) such as  the IDA World Congress on Desalination and Water Reuse opens held in September 2011.

This Association specialist network committee will assist with the implementation of seminars and conferences featuring membranes and desalination in the near future.

Below are photo’s of a suite of  leading examples of Australian desalination and water reclamation projects. 



SE QLD Large CSG Desalination 

 
Perth Southern SWRO PLant



Beenyup Water Reuse Plant in WA