After yet another below average month of rainfall, Melbourne's water reserves are hovering around the 27% mark, several points below this time last year. Last summer, of course, a lack of rain and high temperatures led to the horrifying bushfires around the state. In the past, the winter rains have always replenished the reserves but the last decade has seen year after year of below average rainfall so something has to be done long-term.
Climate change, I believe, makes the longer term outlook even worse. That is why I support the building of a desalination plant while will enable Melbourne to become self-sufficient in water. (In the news today is a story that the company awarded the contract to built the plant hasn't been exactly environmentally sound in the past) However, I would add a couple of caveats. Melbourne needs to get a lot smarter with water recycling. However, I'm not sure if I'd want to drink recycled water as the long term risks of hormones and chemicals which can't be filtered out have never been fully cleared.
The other major point that needs to be considered is the power that is used by the desalination plant. Most of the power in Victoria is generated by the burning of brown coal, about the worst polluter and generator of CO2 emissions there is. The sooner an alternative source, preferably by wave or tide (desalination plants after all are built right on the coast) is developed, the better.