The Federal Government has announced funding support for the $155.6 million Northern Adelaide Irrigation Scheme (NAIS) which will create an estimated 3700 jobs and add more than $500 million a year to the state’s economy.

Funding has been secured through the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund (NWIDF) for the NAIS, which adds to $110 million committed by the State Government in early 2017.

South Australian Premier, Jay Weatherill, said, “The scheme’s focus is helping South Australia to be competitive in the export market by transforming the region into the national leader in intensive, high-tech food production, as well as drive employment growth and attract new skills and talent into the state.

“The NAIS is a key element of our Northern Economic Plan and aligns with this Government’s economic priority of ‘Premium Food and Wine Produced in our Clean Environment and Exported to the World’.”

The scheme will deliver an additional 12 gigalitres (GL) a year of high quality recycled water from the Bolivar Wastewater Treatment Plant. This is in an increase in capacity of 60 per cent – suitable for commercial food crops – to help expand the state’s irrigated primary production industry in the Northern Adelaide Plains north of the Gawler River.

To deliver the additional recycled water, upgrades are required to the Bolivar Wastewater Treatment Plant, as well as a new pipe network north of the Gawler River.

Once necessary approvals are in place, construction will take approximately a year and a half.

The new infrastructure will be built with the ability to increase capacity to 20 GL a year, as demand and access to overseas markets grow.

An independent economic assessment has identified the extra 12 GL of recycled water a year would create 3700 jobs in the region and add $578 million a year to the state’s economy – growing to 6,000 jobs and $1.1 billion a year when at the full 20 GL capacity.

SA Water and Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) have partnered to develop the project which is one of eight South Australian ‘priority initiatives’ on Infrastructure Australia’s Priority List.

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