Adelaide
Water overview

Significant water events

There were no significant water events in the Adelaide region during the 2010–11 year. However minor flooding did occur. During December a storm caused minor flooding in the region, particularly around the Gawler River and isolated areas within the northern and eastern suburbs of Adelaide.

Streamflow

During the 2010–11 year, total annual stream flow in the Adelaide region was slightly below to slightly above the mean annual flow (Table W1).

Table W1. Mean annual river flow in the Adelaide region during the 2010–11 year
River Streamflow gauge Period of record Mean annual flow (ML) 2010–11 flow (ML) 2010–11 as % of mean annual flow
Myponga A5020502 1978–2011 7,990 6,900 86.35
North Para A5050502 1943–2011 14,089 18,698 132.71
Onkaparinga A5030504 1973–2011
73,625
70,398
95.62


Monthly streamflow for the Myponga, North Para and Onkaparinga rivers is presented in figures W2 to W4. Figure W1 shows the the location of the streamflow gauges used to prepare these hydrographs.

Figure W1. Map of key flow gauging stations along the main rivers within the Adelaide region
Figure W1. Map of key flow gauging stations along the main rivers within the Adelaide region

In the Myponga and Onkaparinga rivers (as shown in Figure W1) total annual streamflow was below the long-term mean (figures W2 and W4). However, monthly flow was above the long-term mean for the months of August and September, which coincided with above-average rainfall during this time period for the Adelaide region (see figure C3 Climate overview).

In the North Para River (as shown in Figure W1) total annual streamflow was above the long-term mean (Table W1). This was particularly reflected in the months of September and December, where monthly streamflow was significantly greater than the 90th percentile for the period of record (Figure W4).

Figure W2. Monthly flow for the Myponga River in the 2010–11 year compared to the long-term values for the region
Figure W2. Monthly flow for the Myponga River in the 2010–11 year compared to the long-term values for the region


Figure W3. Monthly flow for the North Para River in the 2010–11 year compared to the long-term values for the region
Figure W3. Monthly flow for the North Para River in the 2010–11 year compared to the long-term values for the region


Figure W4. Monthly flow for the Onkaparinga River in the 2010–11 year compared to the long-term values for the region
Figure W4. Monthly flow for the Onkaparinga River in the 2010–11 year compared to the long-term values for the region

Streamflow data for the Adelaide region can be found at the South Australian Department for Water Water Connect website.

Major water initiatives

The major water initiatives underway in 2010–11 are presented in Table W2.


Table W2. Major water initiatives underway in the Adelaide region
Initiative Estimated completion date Description 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
Urban water 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
Community Wastewater Management Systems Upgrade June 2012 Infrastructure upgrade to increase wastewater recycling by councils by approximately 8 GL. This is part of Water for Good Action Item 21. Supply augmentation Office for State/Local Government Relations (Department of Premier and Cabinet)
Southern Urban Recycling Project  May 2011 Completed, with first water delivered to Seaford Meadows for use in dual reticulation. This is part of Water for Good Action Item 22. Distribution system SA Water
Central Adelaide water allocation plan 2013/2014
(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 Natural Resources Management Board and SA Department for Water
Unbundling water rights 2016 Water allocation plans in the Adelaide region when reviewed will incorporate unbundled water rights into separate instruments (water access entitlements, water allocation, water resource works approval and site use approval). For more information on this refer to the Water for Good website. Policy and planning Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board and SA Department for Water

NRM = natural resources management, SA = South Australian

Major improvements in water information for the Adelaide region during the 2010–11 year included:

  • The contribution of revised watercourse water bodies layers to the National Geofabric, which was initially released in October 2010.
  • Establishment of a long-term groundwater monitoring program in the Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges Natural Resource Management Region to improve data transfer and accuracy in the AMLR regional surface water monitoring network.
  • Modernising water monitoring equipment in the Mount Lofty Ranges, which involved upgrading telemetered sites from dial up to Internet Protocol. This improved data access made it real-time data and reduced the running cost.
  • Implementation of the National Groundwater Information System (NGIS), which will provide a tool for groundwater managers that describes groundwater stores and fluxes to help assess water resources.
  • SA State-wide Hydrological Geospatial Fabric (NHGF) Project is a component of the national project and will benefit the Adelaide region by allowing for more accurate estimates and comparisons of surface water resources between different regions across Australia.
  • Publication of Strategic Water Information and Monitoring Plan, South Australia 2011, which details how South Australia will improve water information. 
  • Establishment of the Adelaide Plains groundwater flow and solute transport model to assist with future management of groundwater resources in the Adelaide Plains.