Project Gilghi: Innovative water treatment for Australia's outback

Water scarcity is a major issue in Australia's outback.


Most remote communities rely on groundwater for their daily needs - but groundwater often contains high levels of salinity, hardness, nitrates and other contaminants unsuitable for drinking. As such, governments spend $13.8 million annually trucking drinking water to remote Australian communities.

Project Gilghi water treatment plant powered by solar panels in the remote community of Gillen Bore, NT. Source: Aurecon.


To combat this issue, engineering firms Aurecon and Ampcontrol have joined forces to create Project Gilghi – an innovative and practical drinking water solution for the Gillen Bore community in Australia’s Northern Territory.


Completely off-grid, the Project Gilghi water treatment plant uses photovoltaic (PV) solar panels and batteries to harness the power of the sun – an abundant, renewable resource in Australia’s outback.


The plant uses three well-established water treatment technologies to provide residents with up to 28 thousand litres of quality drinking water per day:

  1. Multi-media filtration – to remove suspended materials from the water, such as dirt, sand, and organic matter

  2. Reverse osmosis – to remove dissolved contaminants such as salinity and hardness

  3. UV radiation – to ensure the water is sufficiently sanitised by killing any harmful bacteria and viruses