A consortium has developed a proposal for the use of recycled water from the Bolivar Wastewater Treatment Plant as part of the Northern Adelaide Irrigation Scheme (NAIS), that has the potential to create more than 5000 jobs.
The recycled water would help produce crops in high-tech greenhouses which maximise production and water-use efficiency, while also minimising the requirement for water storage in winter.
The proposal was developed by a consortium of companies consisting of South Australian firms Tonkin Consulting, Leed Engineering and construction, and two of Spain’s leading water technology and horticultural companies, Valoriza Agua and New Growing Systems.
Minister for Water and the River Murray Ian Hunter said, “This exciting proposal represents a huge economic opportunity for the State, with potential for significant local job creation and leveraging knowledge and access to international food export markets.
“The proponent’s use of a greenhouse is a demonstrated concept for the use of recycled water for food production.”
The State Government, through SA Water, will now progress the consortium’s proposal to the feasibility stage and examine the potential economic and employment benefits of the proposal, with interim results expected by the end of 2016.
Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Leon Bignell said, “The Northern Adelaide Plains Agribusiness Initiative is part of the State Government’s Northern Economic Plan, to help create jobs and boost the region’s economy.
“The availability of more recycled water will support significant economic and jobs growth and help grow South Australia’s premium food and wine industries even further.”
Results will be used to inform the State Government’s submission to the Federal Government to secure capital funding for the NAIS from the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund.