Adelaide
Water overview

Significant water events

During the 2011–12 year, the Adelaide region experienced close to average rainfall and well above average temperatures. This resulted in an increase of urban water demand that was met mainly by an increase in surface water diversion. The transfer of desalinated water to the urban water system also started during the 2011–12 year. Imports of River Murray water remained comparable to the 2010–11 year.

Streamflow

During the 2011–12 year, total annual stream flow in the Adelaide region was significantly below the mean annual flow (Table W1).


Table W1  Mean annual river flow in the Adelaide region during the 2011–12 year
River Streamflow gauge Period of record Mean annual flow (ML) 2011–12 flow (ML) 2011–12 as % of mean annual flow
Myponga A5020502 1978–2012 7,922 5,649 71%
North Para A5050502 1955–2012 13,845 8,066 58%
Onkaparinga A5030504 1973–2012
72,807
41,732 57%


Monthly streamflow for the Myponga, North Para and Onkaparinga rivers is presented in figures W2 to W4. Figure W1 shows 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


Figure W2  Monthly flow for the Myponga River in the 2011–12 year compared to the long-term values for the region
Figure W2  Monthly flow for the Myponga River in the 2011–12 year compared to the long-term values for the region



Figure W3  Monthly flow for the North Para River in the 2011–12 year compared to the long-term values for the region
Figure W3  Monthly flow for the North Para River in the 2011–12 year compared to the long-term values for the region



Figure W4  Monthly flow for the Onkaparinga River in the 2011–12 year compared to the long-term values for the region
Figure W4  Monthly flow for the Onkaparinga River in the 2011–12 year compared to the long-term values for the region


In all rivers shown in Table 1, the total annual flows were below the long-term medians (50th percentiles); however, monthly flows in these rivers were above the long-term medians for a number of months as shown in figures W2, W3 and W4.

The occurence of above long-term median stream flow coincided generally with average to above-average monthly rainfall in the region (see Figure C3 in the Climate overview).

Streamflow data for the Adelaide region can be found at the South Australian Department for Environment, Water and Natural Resources Water Connect website.

Major water initiatives

The major water initiatives completed in the 2011–12 year are presented in Table W2. The major water initiatives ongoing in the 2011–12 year are presented in Table W3.

 

Table W2  Major water initiatives completed in the Adelaide region in the 2011–12 year
Initiative Completion date Description Type of initiative Lead agency
Adelaide Desalination Plant (ADP), Port Stanvac Late 2012 Transfer of desalinated water to the Happy Valley water treatment plant from the first 50,000 ML/year desalination plant started in October 20111. Cost of full project $1.824 billion. Urban water supply augmentation SA Water and Adelaide Aqua Pty Ltd (plant operator)
North South interconnection system project Late 2012 Enhances security and flexibility of water supply by connecting Adelaide's southern and northern water supply systems. On 31 March 2012 the first major milestone was achieved with infrastructure in place to enable transfer of bulk water from the desalination plant, or Happy Valley Reservoir, to the northern suburbs through the Eastern transfer system. Full project completion and operational handover is scheduled for late 2012. Cost $403 million. Distribution system SA Water
H2OME rebate scheme Jun-12 The rebates provided householders with a range of incentives to purchase products and services to reduce water consumption. During 2011–12, there were 32 256 rebate applications processed worth over $5.8 million. Water savings SA Water
Metropolitan service delivery Jul-11 The new 10-year alliance contract between SA Water and Allwater Joint Venture to manage the operation and maintenance of Adelaide's water, wastewater and recycled systems commenced on 1 July 2011. Operation and maintenance SA Water and Allwater Joint Venture (Allwater)
Glenelg recycled water scheme Jul-11 Completed and transferred to Allwater for operation and maintenance. Capacity to provide more than 3,800 ML of recycled water annually, in particular to irrigate the Adelaide Park Lands. Recycled water supply augmentation SA Water and Allwater Joint Venture (Allwater)
Bird in Hand Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) Sep-11 First treated wastewater was produced for use on 16 September 2011. Final completion on June 2012. Capacity to provide more than 300 ML of recycled water annually to local landowners for irrigation. Wastewater treatment and recycled water supply augmentation SA Water and Allwater Joint Venture (Allwater)
Aldinga WWTP upgrade Aug-11 Completed project to increase capacity of the WWTP and supply recycled water to irrigators. Wastewater treatment and recycled water supply augmentation SA Water and Allwater Joint Venture (Allwater)
Conversion to volumetric licences in Barossa PWRA By June 2012 Conversion of water licences (water access entitlements) for groundwater extraction from area based to volumetric was completed during the 2011–12 year. Policy and planning Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board and South Australian Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources

(prior to 1 July 2012, the South Australian Department for Water)

Issue of water licences in Dry Creek PWA By June 2012 Water licences for groundwater extraction were issued for the first time in Dry Creek PWA. They replaced the pre-existing notice of prohibition. No water allocation plan had commenced in the area though. Policy and planning Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board and South Australian Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources
Adoption of the Water Industry Act 2012 (South Australia) 5-Apr-12 Water Industry Act 2012 (South Australia) effectively replaced the Waterworks Act 1932 (South Australia), the Water Conservation Act 1936 (South Australia) and the Sewerage Act 1929 (South Australia). Policy and planning South Australian Government, Minister for Water and the River Murray

NRM = natural resources management

1 The full capacity 100,000 ML/year plant was handed over for operation on 12 December 2012.

Refer to SA Water Annual Report 2012 (South Australian Water Corporation 2012) for more information on the major water initiatives involving SA Water during the 2011–12 year.

Table W3  Major water initiatives ongoing in the Adelaide region during the 2011–12 year.
Initiative Completion date Description Type of initiative Lead agency
State water agency restructuring Jul-12 Restructuring led to the creation of the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) on 1 July 2012, when the South Australian Department for Water was merged with the South Australian Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Policy and planning South Australian Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources
Central Adelaide water allocation plan 2013/2014 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 South Australian Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources
Unbundling water rights On-going Progressive separation of water rights in line with the Policy on the Implementation of Unbundling Water Rights in South Australia. For more information refer to the Policy on the Implementation of Unbundling Water Rights in South Australia (Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources 2012). Policy and planning Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board and South Australian Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources

Major improvements in water information for the Adelaide region during the 2011–12 year included the projects listed in Table W4, financed under the Bureau of Meteorology Modernisation and Extension Fund programme. The programme was closed on 30 June 2012.


Table W4 Water information projects completed under the Bureau of Meteorology Modernisation and Extension Fund programme during the 2011–12 year
Beneficiary organisation Project description
Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges NRMB Enhancements to AMLRNRM Board's data management system
South Australian Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources Extension of the SA Hydrologic Geofabric
South Australian Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources Continuing Development of National Groundwater Information System (NGIS)
South Australian Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources Improving the reliability of telemetry system
South Australian Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources Contribute to the National Water Account and enhance Water Accounting practice within South Australia
South Australian Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources Strategic coordination
South Australian Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources WDTF data and metadata delivery
South Australian Murray–Darling Basin NRMB Reinstate the Willyaroo surface water monitoring site on the Angas River

NRMB = Natural Resources Management Board