The Australian Government is funding business cases for two water infrastructure projects that could deliver farmers and agricultural producers in South Australia the quality, reliable water they need to grow their business and prosper.
Through the National Water Grid Fund, the Government is providing $1.8 million to investigate the future construction of new water infrastructure projects in Eden Valley and Clare Valley. The funding includes:
- $1 million towards the Eden Valley Water preliminary business case; and
- $800,000 towards the Clare Valley Water preliminary business case.
The Eden Valley Water project proposal would see the construction of new pipelines, pump stations and storage infrastructure to deliver irrigation quality water to an area covering approximately 20,000 hectares.
In Clare Valley, a proposed pipeline from the Bundaleer Reservoir to Clare could deliver an extra 4,000 megalitres a year of new water to the viticulture industry for supplementary watering programs.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Barnaby Joyce said the Government is focused on ensuring farmers and growers have the irrigation they need to grow the crops and produce Australia and the world rely on.
“This investment kick-starts the detailed planning work needed to help identify the right water infrastructure for further investment in South Australia,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“We have listened to farmers and growers’ concerns about water supply and security, and we are acting by putting funding on the table through our $3.5 billion National Water Grid Fund.
“A business case is the first step towards increasing local water supply and security, growing our world-renowned agriculture sector and building resilience to drought in the state’s regions.”
South Australian Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said the Eden Valley business case will investigate a new storage and distribution network in the Eden Valley, which could provide water to approximately 20,000 hectares of land that’s not currently serviced.
“Ensuring long-term water security has been a priority for both the Clare and Eden valleys to help drive economic activity and growth, boost agricultural productivity and enhance liveability and land value,” Minister Basham said.
“Expanding water supply to these regions would support the future growth of critical farming and growing industries, which includes nationally and internationally renowned vineyards and wine production.”
Federal Member for Barker Tony Pasin said investigating options for new water infrastructure is vital for underpinning a strong and resilient future for the valley regions.
“The Federal Government will continue to stand side by side with our farmers – whether through drought, extreme weather events like floods or the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis,” Mr Pasin said.
“That is why we are continuing to fund projects, including business cases like this, to deliver greater water security for farmers while supporting regional economic growth, employment and prosperity.”
Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said the Australian Government understands just how important water can be to transforming rural communities and economies through expanded agricultural production.
“The Clare Valley business case will investigate a new water distribution network in the region, which could increase local water availability by approximately 4,000 megalitres every year,” Mr Ramsey said.
“I know just how vital water is for all our growers, farmers and in fact the whole community in the Clare Valley, which has long established itself as a vibrant winegrowing region.”
By investing in 70 construction projects and more than 60 business cases, the Australian Government’s $3.5 billion National Water Grid Fund is paving the way to national water security, while promoting local economic activity and job creation.
For more information on the National Water Grid, visit www.nationalwatergrid.gov.au.