Operational Information

The Desalination Plant has the operational flexibility to shutdown if water from the Desalination Plant is no longer required for Sydney's water security needs.

Under the Concept Approval for the project, SDP is required to provide operational details about the plant on its website "including information on operating hours, volume of desalinated water produced and equivalent emissions of carbon dioxide associated with the operation”.


The following table provides operational information from May 2012 onwards.


Monthly Report1Hours plant
Volume of water delivered 
into system3
Total of COequivalent emissions 
for electric power4
Total of CO2 equivalent emissions 
for other than electric power6
CO2 equivalent)
May 2012 744.0 3,727 12.2 0.0011
June 2012 719.5 3,960 12.1 0.0012
July 20128




  1. Reporting data is based on billed electrical use, this data may be adjusted in line with the National Electricity Rules.
  2. "Hours plant operated" refers to the hours that seawater was being pumped into the plant for treatment purposes.
  3. One megalitre is 1,000,000 litres.
  4. Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from electric power use offset by renewable energy.
  5. One kilotonne is 1,000 tonnes.
  6. Total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the use on-site of other power sources such as diesel, petrol and gas.
  7. On 9 December 2011 the dam storage level reached 80%. The Minister directed the Sydney Desalination Plant to reduce supply to about 90 million litres a day. 
  8. With the dam storage level reaching 90% capacity, the Minister directed the Sydney Desalination Plant to cease production on 1 July 2012. Production will recommence when dam storage levels below 60% and will remain in production until dam storage levels reach 70%.