A business case for the construction of a new reservoir in South Australia’s McLaren Vale district will be funded by the Federal Government, with the potential to bring 1,350ML of recycled water to the area.
If viable, the McLaren Vale Irrigation Water Security project could deliver an estimated 750ML of new water allocations for irrigation in the region, helping businesses grow and supporting jobs.
Upgrades to increase the capacity of the Willunga Basin Water’s existing recycled water network will also be considered.
The Federal Government is providing $470,000 toward the $500,000 business case, with the remaining $30,000 coming from the South Australian Government and other partners.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Barnaby Joyce, said delivering a secure and sustainable water source across these regions would drive the growth of regional communities and industries.
“We are committed to delivering the water infrastructure South Australians need and this moves us closer to getting the job done for the McLaren Vale district,” Mr Joyce said.
“This project could increase economic activity in the region by as much as $100 million and support up to 300 jobs, providing a much-needed economic boost.”
South Australian Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, David Basham, welcomed the funding for the business case.
“We know that water is a critical resource for our farmers so they can continue to grow world-class produce, contributing to a strong economy and supporting local jobs,” Mr Basham said.
“The business case is another important step towards greater water access in regional South Australia, and builds on similar work being undertaken at the Barossa, Eden and Clare valleys and the successful Coolanie Water Scheme, which is delivering positive results for farmers on the Eyre Peninsula.”
South Australian Minister for Environment and Water, David Speirs, said ensuring long-term water security for farmers is a priority for the South Australian Government.
“We know that water is one of our most valuable resources which is not only required for critical human needs but it drives economic growth to create jobs as well as supporting a healthy environment,” Mr Speirs said.
Senator for South Australia, Andrew McLachlan, said the Federal Government also has $20 million flowing to a package of ten construction projects across the state under the National Water Grid Connections pathway, which together will increase water availability by 1,895ML each year.
“This will support around 1,860ha of additional irrigable land in the state, bolstering our local production while supporting around 60 construction jobs and 860 ongoing positions,” Mr McLachlan said.
“We are also looking forward to the future, by providing $1.8 million to investigate the future construction of new water infrastructure projects in the Eden and Clare valleys.
“Water is our most precious resource and the lifeblood of primary producing regions like McLaren Vale and the Clare Valley. It is essential that we continue to invest in innovative projects that improve water access and security and build resilience to drought as a result of climate change.”
The detailed business case for the McLaren Vale Irrigation Water Security project will undertake demand studies, network modelling, concept design, site investigations and geotechnical analysis.
The business case is expected to be completed in 2022.
For more information on National Water Grid projects, please visit www.nationalwatergrid.gov.au.