National government funds agreed for Adelaide expansion

An agreement for Australian government funding of Aus$ 228 million (US$ 232 million) towards the expansion of the Adelaide Desalination Plant to 100 million m³/year has been finalised by the Australian and South Australian governments, as part of the national government’s total commitment of Aus$ 328 million (US$ 333 million) towards the plant.

The parliamentary secretary for sustainability and urban water, Senator Don Farrell, and the South Australian minister for water and the river Murray, Paul Caica, said on 3 August 2011 that the funding would provide a substantial benefit for South Australia’s security of domestic supply while also supplying environmental benefits.

“The agreement ensures a 6 million m³ environmental water entitlement for the river Murray every year, and will also provide between 12 and 24 million m³ as an environmental allocation during favourable years–capped at 120 million m³ over a 10-year rolling period,” Farrell said.

“This investment illustrates the government’s commitment to water security in Adelaide, along with the more than Aus$ 230 million (US$ 234 million) already committed to a range of urban water projects in South Australia such as stormwater harvesting and water recycling,” Farrell added.

Caica said it was certain that South Australia would again be in drought and the desalination plant would provide South Australia with a guaranteed water supply.

“Expanding the desalination plant is critical to providing Adelaide’s increasing population with a secure drinking water supply in a future affected by a changing climate,” he said.