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SUMMARY

Major advances in existing water towage technology now make it possible to convey water in large quantities over thousands of kilometres, at reasonable cost and in an eco-friendly manner.

This means that, in Australia, the national water crisis can be resolved by 'harvesting' the required water from its Northern and Tasmanian rivers without any negative effects on their flow regimes or eco systems.

It would provide the envisaged lasting solution, un-affected by climate change.

The technology is currently being commercialized in order that current proposals to the Melbourne Water Corporation and the Queensland Water Commission will be upgraded to firm quotations as soon as realistically possible.

INTRODUCTION 

Australia is frequently referred to as a dry continent because of its low rainfall per square kilometre.

However in its tropical north and in the western regions of Tasmania there is a high rainfall intensity. As a consequence the discharge of Australia’s rivers into the surrounding oceans is enormous: well in excess of TEN THOUSAND MILLION TONNES of water per year!

This means that, per head of population, more than 500,000 litres of  almost potable water is lost into the sea each year! This is far higher than in the case of other developed nations such as, for example, the United States, the European Union or Japan.  

The above figure amounts to a wastage of more than 1000 litres per person per day. This is equivalent to each Australian household keeping a tap running at full bore for more than two hours, each day of the year.

In other words: per head of population, Australia is, in fact, a wet continent, blessed with abundant, perpetual, sources of fresh water of excellent quality!

In stark contrast to traditional water conveyance, by canal, pipeline or supertankers, the Watertow technology makes it possible to convey the  water in large quantities over long distances at relatively low cost and in an eco-friendly manner, with the required energy entirely generated by carbon neutral biofuels derived from vegetation unsuitable for human consumption.

All-in cost per kilolitre (KL) is significantly lower than in the case of other available technologies. The principal reason for this is that the amount of energy required to tow a WATERTOW container, even over thousands of kilometres, is still substantially lower than the energy required to produce a similar volume of fresh water through a desalination process.

It is an undisputable fact that a high amount of energy is required to remove all salts (18 kg) from one thousand litres (1 KL) of seawater, even with the most advanced technology available.

WATERTOW’s cost advantage becomes even more pronounced if the energy required for recycling of waste water or for desalination would be generated in an eco-friendly manner by wind turbines, solar panels or by generators run on carbon-neutral biofuel rather than by sourcing the required electricity (below-cost) from public utilities which largely rely on the -environmentally damaging- practice of burning dirty coal.

It is anticipated that the Federal Government, as a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol, will enforce the required conversion through legislation, in order to meet the stringent greenhouse gas reduction targets specified during last year’s climate change conference in Bali.

Finally: the daily supply of sufficient water to Australia's metropolitan areas requires less than 5% of the annual discharge of its rivers.

This means that there would be sufficient surplus water left for large scale irrigation and supply to  coastal towns and industries in the Pilbara. (From the Ord River and, to a lesser extent, the Fitzroy river)