Adelaide
Future outlook

Future prospects

Table 1 shows that there is a surplus of 44,297 ML of available water over water liabilities and future water commitments that are expected to be settled within 12 months of the reporting date.

Table 1  Future prospects for the Adelaide region for the 2013–14 year

Volume (ML)

Total water assets as at 30 June 2013

177,305

less water assets not available to accessed taken and delivered


dead water storage1

1,477

conveyance water2

662


175,166

less Total water liabilities as at 30 June 20133

4,515


170,651



less Future water commitments expected to be settled within 12 months of the reporting date


expected non-licensed surface water diversions4

2,321

expected allocation diversion of surface water5

1,120

expected non-licensed groundwater extractions6

28,116

expected allocation extraction of groundwater7

19,975

expected urban water use8

134,152

expected irrigation schemes water use9

20,146

Surplus/(deficit) of available water assets over water liabilities and future water commitments expected to be settled within 12 months of the reporting date

(35,179)



Add future rights expected to be realised within 12 months of the reporting date


transfer into urban water system of River Murray water10

54,779

transfer into irrigation schemes of River Murray water11

4,553

desalinated water12

20,144

Surplus/(deficit) of available water assets, expected future inflows and future water rights over water liabilities and future water commitments within 12 months of the reporting date

44,297


1 Dead storage for surface water 1.1 Storages and 1.2 Unregulated river

2 Conveyance water is water held in potable pipes reported at 3.1 Urban water supply system and water held in pressurised wastewater pipes reported at 3.2 Wastewater system.

3 Carryover of groundwater allocation reported at 6.1 Groundwater allocation remaining and carry-over of surface water allocation reported at 5.1 Surface water allocation remaining.

4 Average of the 2010–11, 2011–12 and 2012–13 years surface water diversions reported at 17.6 Surface water diversions – other statutory rights.

5 Average of the 2010–11, 2011–12 and 2012–13 years surface water diversions reported at 17.11 Entitled diversion of allocated surface.

6 Average of the 2010–11 and 2012–13 years groundwater extractions reported at 18.7 Groundwater extractions – other statutory rights.

7 Average of the 2010–11, 2011–12 and 2012–13 years groundwater extractions reported at 18.11 Entitled extractions of allocated groundwater.

8 Average of the 2010–11, 2011–12 and 2012–13 years urban water use reported at 19.4 Delivery to urban water system users.

9 Average of the 2010–11, 2011–12 and 2012–13 years irrigation schemes water use reported at 20.4 Delivery to irrigation scheme users.

10 Average of the 2010–11, 2011–12 and 2012–13 years River Murray water transferred into the region's urban water system reported at 20.4 Delivery to irrigation scheme users.

11 Average of the 2010–11, 2011–12 and 2012–13 years River Murray water transferred into the region's irrigation schemes reported at 12.6 Delivery of water to irrigation scheme under inter-region agreement.

12 Average of the 2011–12 and 2012–13 years desalinated water provided to the urban water system reported at 11.6 Delivery of desalinated water to urban water system.


The volumes reported for future water rights and future water commitments are indicative only. The volumes presented in Table 1 were estimated from the average diversions and extractions in the previous three years. The actual volume of water delivered under these future water rights and future water commitments will depend on climatic conditions and demand.

Climatic conditions varied considerably across the three years used to estimate future average diversions and extractions; however an average derived from three years is unlikely to accurately represent any given water-demand scenario.  Therefore it is difficult to determine if the future prospects detailed in Table 1 underestimate or overestimate expected diversions and extractions in an average rainfall year.

It should be noted that Table 1 does not include a number of water inflows for 2013–14 due to lack of appropriate data and a suitable quantification approach. Future direct rainfall on the watercourses and storages, runoff, and groundwater recharge within the Adelaide region that could not be estimated for the 2013–14 year will contribute to meeting the region's water demands. In addition, transfers of water from the River Murray and the Adelaide Desalination Plant may also be increased in case of need.

Contingent water assets and contingent water liabilities

Contingent water assets

The non-extractable portion of groundwater in the Adelaide region

The Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board develops water allocation plans for the prescribed water resources within the Adelaide region. A water allocation plan describes the capacity of the groundwater resources to meet demand. The non-extractable portion of the groundwater asset is a contingent water asset because it is possible that a change in circumstances, such as legislative or regulatory changes that alter the extraction limits, would result in further portions of the groundwater becoming available for extraction. There is no estimate available of the total volume stored in the aquifers of the region.

Contingent water liabilities

Water for urban use

SA Water supplies urban water to residential customers throughout the Adelaide region. SA Water maintains water within its distribution pipes for the delivery of water to the city, but the actual delivery of water is determined by the customers when they turn on the tap. Therefore, the delivery of urban water to customers within the Adelaide region is considered a contingent water liability. During the 2012–2013 year 141,892 ML of urban water was supplied to residential customers within the Adelaide reporting region. Notwithstanding any major changes, it is estimated that a similar volume of water will be required to be delivered in the 2013–14 year.