A detailed business case is being developed to assess two short-listed infrastructure options to meet the Darwin region’s future water supply, as part of the development of a Northern Territory Strategic Water Plan.

Supported by a $2 million Australian Government investment, this business case forms part of a nationwide commitment for water infrastructure projects.

The Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade (DITT), in collaboration with the Australian Government and Power and Water Corporation (Power and Water), are developing the detailed business case, with the local government asking locals to have their say.

The Preliminary Assessment (Part A) was released in February 2021, outlining the two infrastructure options being considered. 

The Preliminary Assessment highlights that the current water supply system in Darwin will need to be increased in the future to meet forecasted social and economic growth.

Meaning that over the long term, investment in new water supply infrastructure is crucial.

The Preliminary Assessment (Part A) also looked at potential solutions and identified two short-listed options for further consideration:

  • Option 1: Adelaide River Off-stream Water Storage (AROWS) and Manton Dam Return to Service (RTS) which can provide water for a range of use over the next 50 + years 
  • Option 2: Desalination and recycled water which can enable industry development in the short term (up to 10 years) at the proposed Middle Arm Sustainable Development Precinct

The Detailed Business Case (Part B), is being prepared by independent consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers and will investigate and evaluate these two options in depth, to respond to the expected forecast urban, industrial, and agricultural demand.

Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade CEO, Shaun Drabsch, said, “Secure, reliable and cost-effective water supply for the Darwin region is integral to meet growing demand. Increasing supply will be critical if we are to achieve a $40 billion economy by 2030.

“We are pleased to be working with the Australian Government to investigate the feasibility of possible water infrastructure projects that support our region now and into the future.

“The Darwin region water supply is currently operating at, or above its sustainable supply level and cannot grow without an additional water supply.”

As with all major infrastructure projects, if one of the options is progressed in the future, rigorous approval processes would be followed, including the need to meet all legislated requirements such as environmental impact assessment.

No decisions have been made and community input is essential to inform future decisions made by the government.

Mr Drabsch said, “This ‘have your say’ process is an important part of developing solutions to these challenges, and I encourage Territorians to share their feedback.”

The Detailed Business Case is funded by the Federal Government through the National Water Grid Fund, a $3.5 billion investment program for water infrastructure projects to help secure Australia’s water future.

The Preliminary Assessment (Part A) can be found here. 

The survey closes at 8am on Monday 26 July 2021, to have your say – click here. 

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