SA Water has supported the completion of a 40 kilometre pipeline which provides a more secure water supply to the remote town of Oak Valley (SA).

The project was delivered by local workers, with the support of SA Water and the South Australian and Commonwealth Governments.

Water and the River Murray Minister, Ian Hunter, said until now a road tanker had been transporting water into the remote Aboriginal community from a bore field more than 30 kilometres away.

“The newly-completed pipeline provides a more reliable and efficient method of getting water to the 100 or so people in the Oak Valley community,” Mr Hunter said.

“The water will now be supplied via a new storage compound about 10 kilometres out of the town and fed into existing overhead tanks located in the community, whereas previously secondary pumping was required to keep these tanks full.

“The reduction in pumping as well as a newly-installed solar power system is more efficient and relieves the community of many operational issues associated with carting water,” Mr Hunter said.  

A rainwater system commissioned in 2011 will continue to provide better quality water to the community for drinking purposes.

“SA Water has had ongoing discussions with Maralinga Tjarutja and the Oak Valley community to determine a solution to deliver the most benefits for local residents,” Mr Hunter said.

“The project also provided employment and training to 27 community members, who worked on the installation of the pipeline with SA Water’s Remote Communities group, and the skills and experience gained through this project can be applied to future work in the area.

“Salary and wages for the workers were sourced through the Commonwealth Remote Jobs and Community program, with infrastructure upgrade funding provided by the State Government.”

Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation Minister, Kyam Maher, recently visited Oak Valley, where community members told him of the importance of a reliable water supply.

“The local community is very proud of its role in this critical infrastructure project,” Mr Maher said.

“The community is also pleased the completion of the pipeline project means the water tanker will be off local roads.”

SA Water also purchased pipeline materials and supplied a project design, and will operate and maintain the pipeline from here on.

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