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Water Overview


A summary of the significant water events, major water initiatives and improvements in water information occurring during the reporting period are explained.


Significant Water Events

Flooding in Queensland during March 2010 increased flows in the River Murray allowing an increase in allocations to River Murray licences. These allocations affected irrigators dependent on River Murray transfers, particularly in the Barossa Valley.


Major Water Initiatives

The major water initiatives underway in 2009–10 are presented in Table W1.

Table W1. Major water initiatives relevant to the Adelaide region


Estimated completion date


Type of initiative

Lead agency

Adelaide Desalination Project, Port Stanvac


Late 2012

Will be capable of producing up to 100 GL/year of potable water

Cost: $1.824 billion

Supply augmentation

SA Water, Adelaide Aqua

North South Interconnection System Project


Late 2012

Enhances security and flexibility of water supply by connecting Adelaide’s southern and northern water supply systems

Cost: $403 million

Distribution system

SA Water

Publication of Water for Good



Comprehensive plan to ensure there will be enough water to meet South Australia’s needs. The plan outlines 94 actions to diversify water supplies and reduce reliance on the River Murray and other rain-dependent sources

Policy and planning

Department for Water

Western Mount Lofty Ranges water allocation plan

Mid 2011

(estimated adoption)

Ongoing development of water allocation plan

Policy and planning

Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges NRM Board and Department for Water

Central Adelaide water allocation plan


(estimated adoption)

Ongoing development of combined water allocation plan for Central Adelaide prescribed wells area and Northern Adelaide Plains prescribed wells area

Policy and planning

Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges NRM Board and Department for Water

Unbundling water



Natural Resources Management (Water Resources and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2007 enables unbundling of existing water licences (into water access entitlements, water allocation, water resource works approval and site use approval) in South Australia, which facilitates more efficient water trading

Where appropriate, water allocation plans will incorporate unbundled water rights when reviewed

Policy and planning

Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges NRM Board and Department for Water

 Note. NRM: natural resources management.


Major Improvements in Water Information

Major improvements in water information for the Adelaide region during 2009–10 included: