Sydney’s Desalination Discharge Boosts Fish Life in Time of Climate Uncertainty


In a time of global climate uncertainty and growing populations, reliance on alternative sources of drinking waters is ever-increasing.

New research, led by Southern Cross University, has found an unexpected benefit at the Sydney Desalination Plant: the excess salty water discharge attracts lots of fish.

Lead researcher, Professor Brendan Kelaher from the University’s National Marine Science Centre, said there was an almost three-fold increase in fish numbers around the desalination discharge outlet.

“There was a 279 per cent increase in fish life. It is an important result, as large-scale desalination is becoming an essential component of future-proofing the water supplies of major cities, such as Sydney, Perth, and Melbourne,” Professor Kelaher said.

“With growing populations and climate uncertainty, water security has become a global concern. Desalination is one way to help shore up water supplies in many parts of the world.”

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Image via Southern Cross University