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Boosting food production in Adelaide’s north

Boosting food production in Adelaide’s north

Recycle water used to boost growth and new development in South Australia.

One of SA Water’s largest recycled water initiatives is the Virginia Pipeline Scheme (VPS), which has provided approximately 20 billion litres of high-quality recycled water from the Bolivar Wastewater Treatment Plant to roughly 360 customers in the northern Adelaide area every year for 20 years. With the VPS already fully subscribed, growers in the region have been asking for another supply of recycled water to allow growth and new development.

‘This is a clear demonstration of support for water re-use for agriculture, and reinforces the community’s trust in SA Water to safely deliver recycled water for the benefit of primary production,’ says SA Water’s Manager of Business Development Michael Edgecombe.

Following the success of VPS, attracting investment and creating trade and jobs for South Australia is the $155.6-million NAIS. Through a new advanced water recycling plant within the utility’s Bolivar precinct – which features above- and below-ground storage, a 31-kilometre transfer main and distribution network – the NAIS will initially treat, store and transport 12 billion litres of high-quality, climate-independent water to the Northern Adelaide Plains for new agribusiness investments or expansion planning.

‘The economic flow-on benefits for wider South Australia are significant, with independent modelling from South Australia’s Department of Primary Industries and Regions finding that the first stage of the NAIS would attract more than $1 billion of new sector investment, create up to 3700 jobs and add in excess of $570 million in gross state product,’ says Edgecombe.

‘The Northern Adelaide Plains is already a national leader in protected cropping and greenhouse food production, and with Asia’s rapidly growing middle class expected to significantly increase global food demand, the NAIS will be a key component in allowing South Australia to capitalise on this business opportunity.’

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