SA Government pours massive investment into food irrigation

Posted 13 April 2017

Tomato rows at greenhouseThe South Australia Government will invest $110 million in expanding agricultural irrigation in the Northern Adelaide Plains as part of the Northern Adelaide Irrigation Scheme (NAIS). 

The project, which would rely on a $45.6 million funding commitment from the Federal Government, has the potential to add 3700 jobs and inject $500 million a year into South Australia’s economy, according to an independent economic assessment.

“The Northern Adelaide Plains (NAP) is already home to one of the largest covered vegetable cropping regions in Australia,” said Premier of South Australia Jay Weatherill. 

“We must invest in the region now to ensure the horticulture industry has access to the large volumes of affordable, high-security water it needs to increase production and attract new investment.”

The combined funding would deliver a productivity increase of 60%, in the form of 12GL of recycled water a year from the Bolivar Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The project is vital to ensuring a prosperous future for the region, said South Australia’s Minister for Water Ian Hunter. 

“As part of the NAIS, recycled water from Adelaide’s largest wastewater treatment plant at Bolivar will be piped north of the Gawler River, enabling a major new irrigation area to be established.”

The project aims to deliver large volumes of low-cost, high-security water to increase the potential of the NAP region for the long-term future, said SA Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Minister Leon Bignell.

“With the right support and infrastructure, the region will be able to play a key role in achieving the objectives of the state’s economic priority to export premium food and wine produced in our clean environment] to the world,” he said. 

“We are addressing barriers like access to affordable, reliable water to help transform the region into the national leader in intensive, high-tech food production for export.”