South Australia is set to gain ten new water projects, with an overall value of $90 million, to enhance water security, help stimulate regional economies and create hundreds of jobs.

The projects are jointly funded by the SA Government, the Federal Government and partners under the National Water Grid Fund – Connections Pathway program.

The ten projects range from delivering additional water to Barossa Valley wine producers, to supporting water efficient, high technology glass houses for growing vegetables in Virginia.

The ten projects are:

  • Waikerie Irrigated Agricultural Water Access and Security Project ($2.8m) – to service primary producers in the Lower Murray Catchment through the rehabilitation of effluent lagoons into a wetland, to collect and treat stormwater for reuse
  • Greenway’s Irrigation Trust ($2.5m) – investment in new pumps and in increasing capacity of the main trunk line to ensure a community irrigation scheme located in Nildottie provides water availability, reliability and efficiency
  • Recycled Water Pipeline to Nairne – Stage 1 ($1.29m) – includes a 1km recycled water pipeline running from the existing water storage facility in Mount Barker, to Nairne, to enable supply to new primary producers
  • Callington connection ($1.58m) – a new 2km pipeline to connect existing council recycled water network to a recycled water storage facility, enabling the storage facility to be used to supply primary production
  • Water Recycling Project – Seven Point Pork ($1.4m) – this project aims to reduce the use of mains water at this large Port Wakefield meat processing facility by upgrading its existing water recycling plant to produce water for irrigation use
  • Project 312 – The Olive Oil Project ($8.88m) – a 5km pipeline extension to the Northern Adelaide Irrigation Scheme (NAIS) network to supply water to ‘The Olive Oil Project’ at Two Wells, creating capacity for additional connections in the area
  • Regional Recharge Farms ($800,000) – infrastructure works to form regional recharge farms or areas around the Port MacDonnell area where water is held, allowing it to recharge the aquifer and groundwater supply, preventing the need to reduce primary production water allocations further
  • Pogona Barbata ($58m) – the development and construction of high technology glass houses, and water retention and supply systems to create sustainable water management at a Virginia producer of herbs and cucumbers
  • Barossa Wine Grape Water Source Diversification ($9m) – development of water infrastructure around Roseworthy for irrigation supply for agriculture
  • Lower Murray Reclaimed Irrigation Area ($3.187m) – improving water deliverability and accessibility in the irrigation water delivery infrastructure, increase water use efficiency and ensure access to water when River Murray and Lower Lakes water levels are low

South Australian Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, David Basham, said the projects will provide a significant boost to South Australia’s agriculture industry.

“We know water is a critical resource for a successful agriculture sector and these ten projects across South Australia will grow jobs by delivering new and affordable water, enhancing water security and helping stimulate regional economic development,” Mr Basham said.

“These projects will both support existing primary industries and allow for new and expanded agriculture to be undertaken in some of South Australia’s most important agricultural areas.

“The pork, olive, vegetable, horticultural and wine industries will all benefit from this new partnership between the South Australian and Commonwealth governments.

“Projects include new water infrastructure in the Barossa Valley to help support the production of South Australia’s premium wine to hi-tech glass houses in Virginia for growing world-class vegetables.”

Mr Basham also said that initial long-term estimates indicate that at full production, the projects collectively would support around 800 jobs.

Acting Minister for Environment and Water, Stephen Patterson, said the ten projects would lead to both economic and environmental benefits.

“In a state where water is a precious commodity it’s important we invest in projects which improve sustainability and resilience,” Mr Patterson said.

“These ten projects will boost water efficiency in our agricultural sector which is good for our economy and exports of food, wine and agriculture, whilst at the same time being good for the environment as well.”

Mr Basham said the State Government has also applied to the Federal Government for funding for preliminary business cases for Clare Valley and Eden Valley water supplies.

“The projects are a key step in supporting the Clare and Eden Valleys, ensuring a more reliable and secure water supply for winegrape growers and primary industries in both regions,” Mr Basham said.

“Ensuring long-term water security has been a priority for both areas for many years and we look forward to working with the Commonwealth to hopefully fund these moving forward.”

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