A preliminary feasibility study for a backup water supply-coastal reservoir in Southeast Queensland, Australia
Australia is the driest inhabited continent in the world, and Southeast Queensland has experienced extreme water scarcity. Intensive research has been conducted and many solutions have been proposed in order to secure its water supply, such as more inland reservoirs, wastewater recycle and reuse, and desalination plants, etc., but after the Millennium drought some of these measures are not readily accepted by the public and government, thus alternative water sources to secure its future demands are urgently needed. By analyzing the natural conditions it is found that coastal reservoirs could be useful for this region, and their feasibility is discussed and analyzed. The new solution is compared with previous proposals based on their sustainability, impacts on environment and ecosystem, construction and operation cost, and greenhouse gas emission. It is found that the strategy of coastal reservoirs meets the regional water demand well, and it is sustainable, environmentally friendly and cost-effective. Most importantly, the example shows that the proposed strategy may eliminate the need of desalination in other runoff-rich regions in the world.