ADELAIDE, Australia — A three-year study conducted by Goyder Institute in South Australia, shows that recycled storm water could have been a cheaper alternative to desalinated water, perthnow.com.au reported. The study, published in Environmental Earth Sciences, said storm water could be made safe to drink.

The study, for the first time, showed storm water would cost $1.47 per kL compared with a minimum cost of $2.41 per kL for a desalination plant, and 60 GL of storm water could be harvested in the city each year, according to the study.

Read more: PC&D: Australia — Winter Issue

The area was previously told it needed 50 GL to have a desalination plant supply Adelaide with water, but the capacity of the $1.8 billion plan was doubled. The plant was later closed for good after it doubled the area's water bills, the story noted.

Although storm water has now proven to be a viable alternative to desalinated water, it is still cheater to use treated water from the River Murray, the story stated.

According to study co-author Dr. Peter Dillon, "So if you want to get the cheapest water for Adelaide, you buy it from the Murray. But if that needs to be left in the river for the environment or irrigators, the next cheapest option is storm water and then seawater desal.’’

Read the entire article here.