SWW takes drought measures

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The first desalination plant in Cornwall has moved a step closer to being reality.

South West Water (SWW) has appointed Veolia Water Technologies & Solutions to build the facility in Par.

Last year saw record levels of drought in the south west, putting pressure on the region’s water resources. SWW says the desalination plant will provide a climate-independent source of water and protect the region against the prolonged periods of hot, dry weather we are seeing due to climate change.

Drought and resilience director, David Harris, said: “The extreme weather conditions we faced last year means we are taking proactive steps to develop climate-independent sources of water. This will help us to become less reliant on rainfall and more resilient against the impacts of climate change in the future.

“We are working closely with our regulators and other key stakeholders to ensure we are delivering this project in the most responsible way and we are pleased to be working closely with Veolia to build and deliver the proposed desalination for the south west.”

The desalination process will involve extracting seawater from St Austell Bay to receive initial treatment at the desalination plant. The water will then be transferred to Cornwall’s biggest water treatment works at Restormel for a secondary phase of treatment before being circulated for consumption to around 300,000 people in Cornwall.

The desalination plant will provide SWW with an additional, long-term, water source capable of producing up to 20 million litres of water per day.