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Hydrating The Island

Learn how desalination is used to hydrate Rottnest Island.
Aerial view of the salt lakes
Aerial view of the salt lakes

Every last drop counts 

The water you drink and use on the island actually comes from Longreach Bay’s desalination plant – we hydrate the whole island. Additionally, we use recycled water on the Rottnest Island Golf Course and Wadjemup Oval. 

We invested significantly into our own water utility infrastructure and now self-generate all the water needed on the island. Since 2017, we have been able to leave the fresh water in the Wadjemup Aquifer for our native flora and fauna, relying solely on the desalination plant.

Turning saline into fresh water

Our desalination plant pumps saline (salty) water from beach bores and turns it into drinking water. The saline is filtered and pressurised at 6000 kpa which causes reverse osmosis, producing usable drinking water. Island businesses, visitor accommodation, and visitor amenities are all hydrated with this water, making Rottnest Island fully self-sustainable.

Recycling wastewater

Wastewater is also recycled thanks to a treatment facility located on the island. The Rottnest Island Wastewater Treatment Plant uses a membrane bioreactor which produces consistent water quality and has a low pollution risk. The treated wastewater is then safe to use in applications such as irrigation at the golf course and other island landscapes.

Note: Irrigating with treated wastewater is regulated by environmental and public health approvals and strictly managed by the nutrient irrigation and recycled water quality management plans. This ensures regulatory compliance and good environmental and public outcomes. Regular monitoring is undertaken of treated wastewater quality, irrigation and turf management practices and receiving environments.