July 19 – Adelaide Desal Project and Central Market
The first full in day Adelaide was spent visiting the Adelaide Desalination Project and the Central Market. The Adelaide Desalination Project was our first visit. This $1.8 billion project aims to produce 100 billion liters of potable water a year to help ease some of Southern Australia’s water stresses. At its peak, this site will be able to produce about half of all of Adelaide’s water needs. The plant also plans to run entirely on renewable energy, to help reduce the environmental impact.
- The Adelaide Desalination Project Site
Although the presentation outlined the impressive effort the team has taken to make this project as eco-friendly as possible, the Australian media has still criticized the project for both environmental and economic reasons. This presentation made me realise that the water problems and the desalination plant are not just economic issues, but social, political, and environmental issues as well. From what I have observed the Australian government and citizens are doing a good job grasping this concept. The South Australian “Water For Good” Program–also run by the government–is a multi-faceted 40 year plan that incorporates different ways to obtain usable water, with tools to reduce the amount of water used throughout the state. With the constant reminders to conserve water, it seems the Aussies are willing to make sacrifices to ensure the water supply does not run out.
- Some of the materials used to filter and purify the water
It makes me wonder how American’s would respond to shorter showers and designated times to water the gardens. When the option is change our ways, or don’t have water, the choice seems easy.
The group posing in front of the desalination site with presenter Peter Demouras
The second stop of the day was to the Adelaide Central Market, which is home to hundreds of shops selling fresh produce, meats, and other products. This market was quite an experience. The diversity of the food was amazing to see, and most of the food told you where it was from, which was usually right here in Australia, or nearby countries like New Zealand. Some of the fruit for sale at the Central Market is pictured below.
In terms of sustainability this is notable, because the closer food is grown to where it is sold, the less impact it has on the environment. Again there was a drawback to the market, being that it closed at 5 p.m., but what is becoming obvious is, if we are to make our lifestyle more sustainable, we are definitely going to have to sacrifice a few conveniences. After shopping the group used our freshly bought produce to prepare a potluck dinner that was enjoyed at the hostel.
Ryan, Nick, and Jackie preparing their dish for the Potluck
Some related links: