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HAWAII Tropical Ponds Hawaii, Puna, Hawaii

Tropical Ponds Hawaii are located on the “Big Island” near Puna adjacent to the PGV 30-MWe geothermal power plant. This is an aquaculture facility consisting of 34 ponds with two acres of water surface. They have been raising sword tails, platties, guppies and gourami since 1993, which are shipped to the West Coast market. The facility uses a well provided by PGV with 110oF water at about 10 gpm. The ponds are kept at 72oF. Plans are to expand to 10 acres. (Personal visit by John Lund, Jan. 2004).

AUSTRALIA Sit and Soak - Brothers with a Dream are Tapping Geothermal Water under Victoria, Australia for a Japanese-Style Resort and Spa Complex

Charles and Richardson Davidson have a dream–to tap vast reservoirs of geothermal water lying under the southern region of Victoria in Australia for a Japanese-style spa resort. The brothers are making that dream a reality with development of a $30-million complex on a 42-acre property in the rolling hills of “The Cups” on the Mornington Peninsula, about an hour’s drive south of Melbourne.

Before selecting and purchasing the property, the brothers engaged geothermal consulting firm Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM - Auckland, NZ) to identify the optimal location for a reliable and sustainable supply of high-quality geothermal water, and to provide siting advice for the spa and resort.

SKM Senior Hydrogeologist David Stanley says the existence of low-temperature (86 to 158oC) geothermal groundwater has been known across Victoria for years, from drilling for petroleum and water wells for stock, irrigation and urban supplies. “The major Selwyn Fault runs across the Mornington Peninsula,” says Stanley. “It is believed that the origin of geothermal water in the region is an upwelling of deep circulating fluids along the fault,” he explains. “As they rise toward the surface, the geothermal waters are accessible by drilling in the vicinity of the fault line.”

Preliminary sampling studies carried out on a groundwater observation borehole near the proposed resort site confirmed that mineralized water–at a temperature of about 122oC–is present at depths of little more than 1640 ft that can be produced at flow rates of 320 gpm. “Hydrochemical analysis established that the water is somewhat saline and contains elevated bicarbonate levels, making it ideal for spa bathing applications,” Stanley said. Wells drilled within the development site subsequently confirmed the tests.

GHC BULLETIN, MARCH 2004

Extraction wells are complete and waters have begun to flow, making it possible for the Davidsons to move to the next phase of their project to bring geothermal hot spring

bathing to Victoria.

“We are currently evaluating

extraction

bore

test

results

and

considering

other

options

the for

using the geothermal water, such as aquaculture,” says Stanley. “We are

hydronic heating and also planning a 130-ft

well

into

a

shallow

aquifer

lying

under

the

Davidson’s

property

to

provide

additional

water

at

a

temperature

of

15oC,

suitable for irrigating proposed lakes.”

the

resort’s

gardens

and

topping

off

its

To ensure that the development has a sustainable outcome, the resort’s geothermal water delivery process will include injection back into the underlying aquifer. SKM has supervised critical phases of the geothermal drilling process and has represented the Davidson bothers at local government meetings. In addition, SKM successfully negotiated and secured the project’s extraction and injection licenses from Southern Rural Water and the Victoria Environmental Protection Agency.

All planning approvals for the Davidson’s Bathe Peninsula Hot Springs Resort have been secured and master plans completed. Design is being carried out by Gregory Burgess Pty., Ltd. Architects (Victoria, Australia), with construction expected to be completed within two years. The complex will offer both indoor and outdoor geothermal bathing, complete with a hotel, private cottages, convention facilities, massage and therapy services, a restaurant, gift shop and geothermal education facilities. The resort will also feature its own food production area with greenhouses, aquaculture and a vineyard.

In January , the Davidsons built a significantly smaller spa within a 5 min walk from the Bathe resort site. Called Mizu, it is meant to draw local attention to Japanese- style spa bathing in anticipation of the larger facility to come. With groundwater heated by natural gas, Mizu offers a complete bathing, culinary and relaxation experience on a 7-

acre two

property outdoor

with a baths,

vineyard, cellar, sauna relaxation room and

and steam room,

pool.

Called

a

“boutique” spa,

Mizu is

making it among

the most

limited to six overnight intimate of private resort

visitors, spas.

Sinclair Knight Merz is a leading multi-disciplinary

consulting firm, employing close to 3,000 people in offices across Australia, New Zealand, Europe, South East Asia, the Pacific and South America. It is highly regarded for its hydrogeological and hydrological project work, and for its development of geothermal power stations across the globe. For further information on the Bathe Resort and Spa Project, contact David Stanley, Senior Hydrogeologist, Sinclair Knight Merz, 25 Tead Street, PO Box 9806, Newmarket, Auckland, New Zealand. Phone: +613 9248 3306. Email: dstanley@skm.com.au. The Davidson’s website can be found

at:

www.bathe.com.au.

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