Desalination research centre dries up

Posted 1 July 2016

water dropThe National Centre of Excellence in Desalination Australia (NCEDA) is winding down, but hopes are high a new research centre will be funded to continue its work.

NCEDA’s Federal funding expired June 30, with the organisation set to formally cease in September, once all projects are finalised and a final report published.

However, efforts to build upon much of NCEDA’s research through the creation of Future Water Cooperative Research Centre (CRC).

Coordinated by Monash University and chaired by Professor Don Bursill, the proposal has been accepted by the CRC Program, which will announce which applications are successful in November this year.

Chief Executive Officer Neil Palmer said the new CRC would have a broader scope of research into water technology but would partner with many existing NCEDA partners.

“The new entity sets out an agenda for industry and researchers to develop new water technologies and management solutions for Australia’s impaired water resources to be used for economic benefit,” he said. 

“Its focus will be on agribusiness, mining and mineral processing, energy and regional communities. 

“Its vision is for climate-independent, affordable and fit-for-purpose water to be available whenever and wherever it is needed.”

Palmer said the centre had achieved considerable advances since its launch in 2010.

“The NCEDA developed a research roadmap that has guided Australian desalination research for seven years and built a $5 million pilot-scale test facility to support that research at Murdoch University in Western Australia,” he said.

“Fifty research projects were funded – these were spread amongst the 14 Australian Participating Organisations and involved 400 Australian and international researchers. 

“The centre also collaborated with 30 international organisations and launched a top class operator training course that is on-going.”