Today we were up early for breakfast then off to the Adelaide desalinization plant. We walked through the Kauwi garden on the way inside the plant. Kauwi is the native word for water. Once inside we were given two presentations on how the desalinization plant deals with the ecological environment surrounding it and the desalinization process as a whole. Second on our busy day was the Australian Bureau of meteorology. We learned what Australia’s weather and climate is and we got to compare it to our weather back in the U.S. One way we discussed was how El Nino and La Nina had opposite effects for the Australia climate opposed to what we experience in the U.S. After we came back to the hostel for a quick lunch.
After lunch we were off to the University of Adelaide. The University was just on the north side of the city and had older buildings that somewhat gave it a look similar to MSU’s campus. But they also had newer tech savvy buildings to complement the older ones. There we were given a speech on how Australia is approaching alternative renewable energy. After we got to go back into the labs to see experiments on some allege that was being grown and tested on, along with some engineering experiments labs too. Finally we wrapped up the day with a potluck dinner. Everyone was grouped and then prepared a dish that dealt with sustainability.
Today was jam-packed with information on sustainability. The desalinization plant is a great resource for the people of Adelaide. With Adelaide being in the driest state on the driest Continent of the world, water is a important topic for the city. The plant gives Adelaide safe clean drinking water, but the plant also tries its hardest to not leave a huge carbon footprint or a big impact on the environment surrounding it. They also make it a point to use energy efficiently.
When we visited the University of Adelaide we were taught how Australia’s geography and population plays a big role on the energy grid. With most of Australia’s population being on the coast, that’s where the energy grid is. They use wind turbines for the coastal areas. This keeps the energy close to where it is consumed. We also discussed that in the long run they could start harvesting more solar thermal energy in the middle of the country where it has desert like conditions.
Lastly when we ate our potluck dinner we talked about what made each dish sustainable. Everyone purchased the ingredients from the local farmers market, where we saw what it was like to shop for local venders and not at the typical U.S. supermarket. We discussed how buying local puts more money back into the city’s economy. Why buying local ment less cost for food delivery and how the food itself was sustainable and would replenish.
As our adventure in Australia is just beginning, this will be our third and last day in Adelaide. Lets take a little look closer as to what the this great city has to offer. Adelaide is the capital of South Australia and the fifth largest city in Australia. With a population of around 1.25 million. The city was founded in 1836 and was named after Adelaide of Saxe-Meininge, the queen consort to king William IV. The city streches 20km (12mi) from coast to the foothills on the west side, and 90km (56mi) from Gawler on the north to Sellicks Beach on the south. Adelaide is home to some of the most thrilling attractions. The Adelaide Zoo, which is the second oldest zoo in Australia, is coming up on its 130 anniversary. The zoo is located on the north side of the city and is owned and operated on a non-profit basis. Other attractions include the Adelaide Entertainment Center and the Adelaide Oval. The Oval is a sports stadium which mainly is the home to sports like cricket and Australian rules football. Concerts also take place here where acts like Micheal Jackson, AC/DC, David Bowie, and Foo Fighters have all performed. In 2014 construction will be completed to seat 53,500.
Today’s weather will have a high of 17.2 C (63F) and a low of 11.6C (53F). This is pretty standard temp for Adelaide this time of year. But the bad news is there is a 40% chance of rain.
Our first trip today will be to the Adelaide Desalinization Plant, bright and early at 9:30am. Hopefully we will have recovered from jet-lag by this point. For those of you who are unaware of what a desalinization is, it is the removal of salt and minerals from salt water to be made into potable drinking water. The plant is on the eastern shore of Gulf St. Vincent. The plant started desalinization in 2011, after water shortages and great drought in 2006 and 2007. The plant is powered 100% on accredited renewable green energy. They maximize natural light and solar power, along with harvesting rain water for non-potable water use inside the building. This plant has one of the lowest carbon footprints for a desalinization plant in the world. From start to 2013 the plant provided 30 billion liters of clean drinking water.
The second stop for today will be to the TAFE Regency Campus where we will be visiting the Renewable Energy Center. This will most likely be one of my favorite stops on our trip, because Renewable Energy is so interesting to me! The Regency campus has many courses to offer from Meat Processing and Food Technology to Electrical and Renewable Energy. The Renewable Energy Center studies renewable energies such as Photovoltaic, Solar Thermal Systems, and Wind Energy.
To wrap up our last day in Adelaide we have the option of going to the Adelaide Botanical Gardens. These gardens are some of the most beautiful gardens in all of South Australia. The gardens are home to three architectural significant glass houses, the Palm House, Bicentennial Conservatory, and the Amazon Waterlily Pavilion. You may also stumble into the Santos Museum of Economic Botany, or the Garden of Health. The Garden of Health is divided into two sections the Contemplation garden where well-being and reflection are enhanced, and the Healing garden which informs how we can use natural plants for disease prevention and treatment of illness. Lastly one might find themselves looking at the Native Garden where native plants are used at a domesticated level. Native plants to the area are used for hedges, structural planting, and screening vegetation.