The West Australian Government has unveiled a plan for the southern hemisphere's largest desalination plant, to be completed by 2006 at a cost of $350 million.
The plant will employ technologies used in the Middle East and the United States to remove salt and impurities from seawater, producing water of equal or better quality than current water supplies.
It will be built next to the Kwinana power station, just south of Perth.
Premier Geoff Gallop said the plant would increase the water supply to Perth and its surrounds by 17 percent each year.
"The threat of a drying climate is with us now, and desalination is a proven technology capable of delivering large quantities of water independent of the weather," Dr. Gallop said. "Both our underground and surface water supplies are not being recharged to the appropriate levels."
The decision comes after the Government rejected the environmentally sensitive alternative of piping water from the Yarragadee aquifer, which opponents said would ruin the Blackwood River.