Desalination plant provides hope for struggling community
THERE is a glimmer of hope in the ongoing water crisis in Tenterfield, after Rural Aid delivered a mobile desalination unit to the struggling community.
The Tenterfield community will have access to an extra 75,000 litres of fresh drinking water each day after the charity organisation delivered their mobile unit on Tuesday.
Rural Aid chief executive, Charles Alder, said with one of the worst droughts in Australia's history impacting rural communities across NSW, Tenterfield, like many areas, was looking at ways to maximise and extend their water supply.
He said Tenterfield Shire Council had approached Rural Aid to support the community.
"Tenterfield have really been doing it tough and the dam is now down to around 32 per cent," he said.
"The positioning of this unit in Tenterfield complements the work that the NSW Government is doing in also providing reverse osmosis units to some affected towns."
Housed in a 20 foot container, Rural Aid's salt-free desalination unit will be connected to Tenterfield's water filtration system and will use the reverse osmosis process.
Currently, for every 10 litres of water filtered through the Shires filtration system, one litre of water is used to process it.
That means up to 70,000 litres of Tenterfield's drinking water is lost each day.
Mr Alder said Rural Aid's desalination unit will extend the town's drinking supply by adding an extra 75,000 litres of fresh drinking water each day.
Mr Alder said Rural Aid will continue to work closely with the NSW Government to ensure the best outcomes possible for these regional communities.
Tenterfield mayor Peter Petty said Tenterfield is grateful for the support of all Australians who donated funds to Rural Aid to ensure the Tenterfield community continues to have safe drinking water.
"This new unit will assist in maintaining the dam level until we can source a supplementary supply from elsewhere which council is currently working very hard in conjunction with the NSW State Government to do," he said.
"But we are by no means out of the woods and I urge everyone to remain vigilant with their water usage."
He said Tenterfield Shire Council will be responsible for the ongoing use and maintenance of the desalination unit for as long as they require it.