The Adelaide region

Overview of the 2012–13 year

The Adelaide region is located in the southeast of South Australia, on the east coast of the Gulf St Vincent. It extends from the Barossa Valley in the north to the Fleurieu Peninsula in the south, and includes metropolitan Adelaide, the Northern Adelaide Plains and the Western Mount Lofty Ranges. The region includes the Gawler, Little Para, Torrens, Onkaparinga and Myponga rivers, which drain into the Gulf St Vincent, flowing west and southwest from the Mount Lofty Ranges. The region also includes several smaller rivers along the Fleurieu Peninsula that flow west into the Gulf St Vincent and southeast into the Southern Ocean.

Rainfall across the Adelaide region was generally below average for the 2012–13 year. In particular, rainfall was very much below average in the central and northern parts of the Adelaide region, where South Para Reservoir and several other major surface water reservoirs are located. These rainfall conditions contributed to decreased inflows into the region's storages, with surface water storage volume decreasing by 9,852 ML during the 2012–13 year. Closing net water assets in the Adelaide region were 172,790 ML, compared to 183,059 ML at the end of the 2011–12 year. For more information on the region's water assets, refer to Water accounting statements.

Water usage for urban consumption, the Adelaide region's irrigation scheme, and private licence holders increased during the 2012–13 year compared to the 2011–12 year. The region relies on a number of different water sources including surface water harvested from within the region, desalinated water, groundwater, imported River Murray water, and recycled water to supply users within the region. To meet the increased water usage within the region, an increase in demand on all water sources, with the exception of surface water, was observed for the 2012–13 year.

The volume of surface water harvested and diverted for urban water supply decreased compared to the 2011–12 year. However, this was more than offset by increased use of other water sources for urban supply. Desalinated water supplied to the urban water system increased by almost ten times the volume supplied in the 2011–12 year. The volume of River Murray water imported into the region for urban supply also increased by almost 45% compared to the 2011–12 year.

The majority of recycled water produced by the region's urban water system was supplied to the irrigation scheme, representing the primary source of irrigation water (>70%). River Murray water was the other major source of water supplied to the region's irrigation scheme. To meet increased usage by the Adelaide region's irrigation scheme, a considerable increase in the volume of recycled water supplied (25%) and River Murray water imported (85%) was observed in the 2012–13 year compared to the 2011–12 year.

An increase in usage was also observed for private licence holders, with licensed groundwater extractions increasing by approximately 60% in the 2012–13 year. For further information on water abstractions and use during the 2012–13 year, refer to the Water resources and systems note.

The key water account information for the Adelaide region during the 2012–13 year is presented in the following table. Information on the uncertainty associated with the volumes presented in the table is provided in the relevant sections of the account.

 

Key water account information for the Adelaide region during the 2012–13 year


Contextual information: Climate overview
Climate Overview 2012–13 2011–12 Long–term average
Rainfall: 443 mm Rainfall: 569 mm Rainfall: 575 mm
Evapotranspiration: 473 mm Evapotranspiration: 560 mm Evapotranspiration: 562 mm
For more detail on the Adelaide climate refer to Climate overview.

 

Contextual information: Water overview
Water overview Myponga River North Para River Onkaparinga River
below mean annual flow well below mean annual flow below mean annual flow
For more detail on streamflow in the Adelaide region refer to Water overview.

 

Water accounting statements
Accounting statements 2012–13 2011–12
Total water assets (as at 30 June) 177,305 190,077
Total water liabilities (as at 30 June) 4,515 7,018
Change in net water assets (10,269) (40,575)
Closing net water assets 172,790 183,059
For more detail on water assets and water liabilities refer to Water Accounting statements.

 

Notes: Water resources and systems

 

Surface water storage
Surface water 30 June 2013 30 June 2012
Total capacity Volume % of capacity Volume % of capacity
197,871 ML 87,330 ML 44% 97,182 ML 49%
For more detail on surface water storage in the Adelaide region refer to Surface water.

 

Water abstractions
Groundwater Total water abstracted
2012–13 2011–12 Recent activity
Surface water: 60,297 ML Surface water: 104,445 ML Groundwater abstractions have increased. Surface water for urban water supply abstractions (not including River Murray Water) have decreased.
Groundwater: 54,287 ML Groundwater: 17,379 ML (groundwater volume includes licensed abstractions only)
For more detail on water abstraction in the Adelaide region refer to Surface water and Groundwater.

 

Urban water supply
Urban water system Total water supplied  
2012–13 2011–12 Recent activity
162,173 ML 152,392 ML Increased intake to the urban water system from desalinated water and River Murray water.
For more detail on the urban water system in the Adelaide region refer to Urban water system.

Irrigation scheme supply
Irrigation scheme Total water supplied  
2012–13 2011–12 Recent activity
29,664 ML 21,541 ML Increased demand from irrigation schemes, increasing reliance on River Murray Water.
For more detail on the irrigation scheme in the Adelaide region refer to Irrigation scheme.