I've always said that the desalination plant was vital infrastructure, an insurance against running out of water and I applauded the state government of that time for deciding to build it.
I was very annoyed by the government opposition of that time pretending we didn't need it and trying to turn it into a political football for their own political gains.
Anyway, an interesting article in The Age:
Prediction Melbourne could begin to run short of water by 2028
JULY 23 2017 - 12:00AM Adam Carey
Cameron FitzGerald, general manager of strategy and planning, CityWest Water on top of a 20 megalitre recycled water storage tank. Photo: Joe Armao
Melbourne could begin to experience chronic water shortages within about a decade, even if the desalination plant is cranked up to its full capacity, as climate change and population growth rapidly deplete the city's dams.
Demand for water could begin to exceed supply by 2028, triggering tough water restrictions and a costly 25 per cent boost to the capacity of the desalination plant, under a worst-case scenario modelled by Melbourne's water corporations.
This scenario suggests the city must take major steps in the next few years to guard Melbourne's water storages from reaching dangerously low levels that could put it on a permanent drought footing.
Demand for water in and around Melbourne could grow by about 75 per cent in the next 40 years, while flows into the state's catchments could decrease by more than 40 per cent, according to projections published this month by City West Water, Yarra Valley Water and South East Water.
According to the three state-owned corporations' 50-year urban water strategies, Melbourne's water supply is secure for another 10 to 15 years, "even under high climate change and high population growth scenarios", largely because of the desalination plant.