About the Author

Kevin Rennie
Citizen journalist, Teacher (retired),Volunteer (Melbourne, Australia)

I am a retired secondary teacher and unionist. I have been an Australian Labor Party member since 1972. After teaching in Victorian schools from 1975, I spent 8 years teaching in the Northern Territory: 4 in Katherine, followed by 4 in Maningrida, an aboriginal community in Arnhem Land. Returned in June 2008 to Melbourne to live after 15 months in Broome. Now live near Red Bluff which overlooks Half Moon Bay on Port Phillip Bay's eastern side. I am a Global Voices author.

Popular posts


Can We Make ‘Water’ Sexy?  #1 Desalination

Published 11th February 2011 - 1 comments - 4217 views -

It’s a serious question. One of the biggest problems when blogging about water issues, especially issues such as desalination or use of aquifers, is how ‘dry’ and technical it becomes for aqua amateurs. It’s just not sexy enough for the web. Sexy in the sense of exciting, enticing, stimulating, or provoking the grey matter. We need to disturb, inspire or just plain interest a broader audience.

Is Desalination a Solution? (No pun intended)

When Australia was struggling during a decade of droughts, many State governments saw desalination plants as the answer to water shortages in the Capital cities. A number have been built, are near completion or in the planning stages.

The first was the Perth Seawater Desalination Plant in Kwinana. Unfortunately it doesn’t do public tours. It has deflected some opposition by the use of a Wind Farm for its power. The WA Water Corporation promotes desalination here.

Victoria’s plant-in-progress at Wonthaggi has been very controversial, especially after the decade long drought finally broke. It has been criticised as:

  • more expensive than alternatives such as water tanks
  • adding to greenhouse gases through its reliance on coal power generation
  • destroying the surrounding marine environment

One prominent opponent is Watershed Victoria. This image comes from their website:

They have tried humour and satire to gain interest. The cartoon below is from one of their bulletins:

Video may be the answer to reaching a wide audience. Here’s one example:



Evan Beaver argued in favour of desalination at online magazine New Matilda just days before the election that brought the defeat of the Victorian State Government who built Wonthaggi:

Desalination is not without drawbacks, but the question is not "is desal good?" but rather, "if not desal, then what?".
In Praise Of Desalination

To discover how user-unfriendly ‘Water’ can be online, visit our National Water Commission and surf around.

Let’s finish with a word from one of our sponsors One Water:

Please add any suggestions or examples of how we can raise the Water profile.

(Feature image: GreenBiz)

Category: Technology | Tags:


  • Andrea Arzaba on 12th February 2011:

    We are trying to make water “sexier” in this platform :)

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