A program to desalinate groundwater at the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) to provide a solution to Flemington Racecourse’s water needs has won an international award at the Water Reuse Symposium in the USA.

VRC’s in situ desalination was announced as the recipient of the WateReuse Project of the Year in Dallas, USA, taking honours over other international water projects in Abu Dhabi, west Africa and Russia.

City West Water Managing Director Anne Barker was thrilled to see the VRC win the award, which comes after many years of collaboration aimed at providing the racecourse with a solution to its water needs.

This award is well-deserved recognition for VRC’s hard work and investment in alternative ways of meeting their long-term water needs, Ms Barker said.

The award demonstrates the possibilities of on-site water treatment, and City West Water congratulates the VRC for this award and their ongoing commitment to reducing their drinking water use.

The in situ desalination system, Desalin8, is a new Australian technology for recovering fresh water from a brackish groundwater aquifer, and utilises a desalination process that uses membranes to remove freshwater water from saline aquifer water, completely below ground.

The VRC piloted the Desalin8 technology with the support of City West Water’s Business Resource Efficiency program and the initial two units have been operational for four years.

With further support from City West Water and the Victorian Racing Industry Fund, an additional four Desalin8 units will be operational by the end of 2014, securing Flemington’s water needs and providing for a green racecourse in the years ahead, independent of prevailing weather conditions.

Once operational, the four additional units will enable the VRC to produce a total of 150 million litres of water – enough to fill 60 Olympic swimming pools.

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