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Ten water infrastructure projects funded to boost SA agriculture

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Ten water projects are being funded by almost $90 million under the National Water Grid Fund – Connections Pathway program in South Australia, to significantly boost the state’s agriculture industry. 

The projects will enhance water security, help stimulate regional economies and create jobs, with funds provided by the South Australian government, the Commonwealth and program partners. 

The projects range from delivering additional water to Barossa Valley wine producers, to supporting water efficient, high technology glass houses for growing vegetables at Virginia. 

“We know water is a critical resource for a successful agriculture sector and these 10 projects across South Australia will grow jobs by delivering new and affordable water, enhancing water security and helping stimulate regional economic development,” minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said. 

“These projects will both support existing primary industries and allow for new and expanded agriculture to be undertaken in some of South Australia’s most important agricultural areas. 

“The pork, olive, vegetable, horticultural and wine industries will all benefit from this new partnership between the South Australian and Commonwealth governments.” 

Initial long-term estimates indicate that these projects will support around 800 jobs at full production. 

“Projects include new water infrastructure in the Barossa Valley to help support the production of South Australia’s premium wine to hi-tech glass houses in Virginia for growing world-class vegetables,” Basham said. 

“This will help drive the Marshall Liberal government’s Growth State agenda to increase jobs by delivering sustainable new water sources to agriculture.” 

The 10 projects will lead to both economic and environmental benefits, according to acting minister for Environment and Water Stephen Patterson. 

“In a state where water is a precious commodity, it’s important we invest in projects which improve sustainability and resilience,” Patterson said. 

“These 10 projects will boost water efficiency in our agricultural sector, which is good for our economy and exports of food, wine and agriculture while at the same time being good for the environment as well.” 

The South Australian government has also applied to the Commonwealth for funding for preliminary business cases for Clare Valley and Eden Valley water supplies. 

“The projects are a key step in supporting the Clare and Eden Valleys, ensuring a more reliable and secure water supply for wine grape growers and primary industries in both regions,” Basham said. 

“Ensuring long-term water security has been a priority for both areas for many years and we look forward to working with the Commonwealth to hopefully fund these moving forward.” 

The projects funded under the National Water Grid Fund – Connections Pathway program include: 

  • Waikerie Irrigated Agricultural Water Access and Security Project ($2.8 million) – to service primary producers in the Lower Murray Catchment through the rehabilitation of effluent lagoons into a wetland, to collect and treat stormwater for reuse. 
  • Greenway’s Irrigation Trust ($2.5 million) – investment in new pumps and in increasing capacity of the main trunk line to ensure a community irrigation scheme located in Nildottie provides water availability, reliability and efficiency. 
  • Recycled Water Pipeline to Nairne – Stage 1 ($1.29 million) – includes a 1km recycled water pipeline running from the existing water storage facility in Mount Barker, to Nairne, to enable supply to new primary producers. 
  • Callington connection ($1.58 million) – a new 2km pipeline to connect existing council recycled water network to a recycled water storage facility. This will enable the storage facility to be used to supply primary production. 
  • Water Recycling Project – Seven Point Pork ($1.4 million) – this project aims to reduce the use of mains water at this large Port Wakefield meat processing facility by upgrading its existing water recycling plant to produce water for irrigation use. 
  • Project 312 – The Olive Oil Project ($8.88 million) – a 5km pipeline extension to the Northern Adelaide Irrigation Scheme (NAIS) network to supply water to “The Olive Oil Project” at Two Wells and create capacity for additional connections in the area. 
  • Regional Recharge Farms ($800,000) – infrastructure works to form regional recharge farms or areas around the Port MacDonnell area where water is held, allowing it to recharge the aquifer and groundwater supply, preventing the need to reduce primary production water allocations further, increasing the security and reliability of water for primary production. 
  • Pogona Barbata ($58 million) – the development and construction of high technology glass houses, and water retention and supply systems to create sustainable water management at a Virginia producer of herbs and cucumbers. 
  • Barossa Wine Grape Water Source Diversification ($9 million) – development of water infrastructure around Roseworthy for irrigation supply for agriculture. 
  • Improving water deliverability and accessibility in the Lower Murray Reclaimed Irrigation Area ($3.187 million) – irrigation water delivery infrastructure to increase water use efficiency and ensure access to water when River Murray and Lower Lakes water levels are low due to drought or actively managed to generate environmental benefits. 

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