Northern Water Supply - Business Case

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Exploring a new secure and sustainable water supply for the future.

What's being decided?

The Northern Water Supply (NWS) project is one of a number of projects being considered for the Upper Spencer Gulf as part of the State Government’s plan to decarbonise local industry, provide for future jobs and economic development, and position the region as a global leader in the net-zero economy.

As part of the NWS, the South Australian Government is assessing the potential for a new and sustainable water supply for the far north and Upper Spencer Gulf. The project aims to sustainably support regional communities and industries now and into the future. 

This assessment takes the form of a business case which will evaluate the environmental, social and economic benefits and impacts of building a seawater desalination plant in the region, along with a 450km pipeline which will transport the desalinated water to communities and industries across the region, including the emerging Hydrogen industry.  

We are currently looking at where might be most suitable to conduct in-depth studies on the feasibility of building a desalination plant and your views are a critical part of identifying issues/risks and opportunities/benefits that should be considered as part of the assessment process. This will in turn help inform the government’s decision on whether to further progress the Northern Water Supply project beyond the current phase.

Background

For our northern regional areas to thrive, we need a secure water supply. Taking more water from the River Murray or Great Artesian Basin is not a reliable or sustainable long-term option so a new solution is needed. 

The Northern Water Supply project business case is assessing whether a desalination plant and pipelines would provide that solution. Some of the anticipated benefits include: 

  • providing a sustainable and climate resilient water supply for northern SA 

  • reducing environmental pressures from the use of River Murray, Great Artesian Basin and other groundwater sources  

  • supporting the emerging Hydrogen industry 

  • unlocking a globally significant copper resource, required for the transition to net zero

  • supporting local and global industry decarbonisation

  • making regional and remote communities greener and more liveable

We are currently working with a range of stakeholders representing the environment, marine, mining, energy, and other local industries and regional communities to select a preferred study site from a short list of potentially economically and environmentally feasible options. More information on how we developed this short list will be uploaded soon. 

We are interested in hearing from you about the issues you feel should be considered as part of the assessment process.

For more information: 

  • View the newsfeed below for updates as the project progresses

Get involved

We are interested in hearing what issues and/or opportunities you would like to see considered as part of this assessment process. You can get involved by:

  • telling us what elements of this project are most important to you by taking the survey

You can provide feedback until 15 February 2023.

What are the next steps?

All feedback will be reviewed by our project engagement team and included in the business case which is due to be provided to the state and federal governments in early 2023.

A decision on whether this project will proceed past the business case, and if so, which site will be used as the study site for further in-depth investigation, is expected by mid-2023.  

Project updates will be provided on this page via the news feed below or you can register for regular updates by contacting our team at northerwatersupply@sa.gov.auYou can also stay connected by clicking the Stay Informed button on this page.

Exploring a new secure and sustainable water supply for the future.

What's being decided?

The Northern Water Supply (NWS) project is one of a number of projects being considered for the Upper Spencer Gulf as part of the State Government’s plan to decarbonise local industry, provide for future jobs and economic development, and position the region as a global leader in the net-zero economy.

As part of the NWS, the South Australian Government is assessing the potential for a new and sustainable water supply for the far north and Upper Spencer Gulf. The project aims to sustainably support regional communities and industries now and into the future. 

This assessment takes the form of a business case which will evaluate the environmental, social and economic benefits and impacts of building a seawater desalination plant in the region, along with a 450km pipeline which will transport the desalinated water to communities and industries across the region, including the emerging Hydrogen industry.  

We are currently looking at where might be most suitable to conduct in-depth studies on the feasibility of building a desalination plant and your views are a critical part of identifying issues/risks and opportunities/benefits that should be considered as part of the assessment process. This will in turn help inform the government’s decision on whether to further progress the Northern Water Supply project beyond the current phase.

Background

For our northern regional areas to thrive, we need a secure water supply. Taking more water from the River Murray or Great Artesian Basin is not a reliable or sustainable long-term option so a new solution is needed. 

The Northern Water Supply project business case is assessing whether a desalination plant and pipelines would provide that solution. Some of the anticipated benefits include: 

  • providing a sustainable and climate resilient water supply for northern SA 

  • reducing environmental pressures from the use of River Murray, Great Artesian Basin and other groundwater sources  

  • supporting the emerging Hydrogen industry 

  • unlocking a globally significant copper resource, required for the transition to net zero

  • supporting local and global industry decarbonisation

  • making regional and remote communities greener and more liveable

We are currently working with a range of stakeholders representing the environment, marine, mining, energy, and other local industries and regional communities to select a preferred study site from a short list of potentially economically and environmentally feasible options. More information on how we developed this short list will be uploaded soon. 

We are interested in hearing from you about the issues you feel should be considered as part of the assessment process.

For more information: 

  • View the newsfeed below for updates as the project progresses

Get involved

We are interested in hearing what issues and/or opportunities you would like to see considered as part of this assessment process. You can get involved by:

  • telling us what elements of this project are most important to you by taking the survey

You can provide feedback until 15 February 2023.

What are the next steps?

All feedback will be reviewed by our project engagement team and included in the business case which is due to be provided to the state and federal governments in early 2023.

A decision on whether this project will proceed past the business case, and if so, which site will be used as the study site for further in-depth investigation, is expected by mid-2023.  

Project updates will be provided on this page via the news feed below or you can register for regular updates by contacting our team at northerwatersupply@sa.gov.auYou can also stay connected by clicking the Stay Informed button on this page.

  • Thank you for taking the time to share what is important to you about the Northern Water Supply project

    Your feedback will assist us in knowing what is important to you regarding water supply in the Upper Spencer Gulf and northern South Australia as we finalise the business case.  We welcome you to share feedback regarding potential opportunities, risks, concerns, and benefits that could come from this project.  We anticipate the survey will take less than 10 minutes to complete.  

    We'll provide an update on this project page of the survey results once the survey has closed and all data has been reviewed and collated in early to mid 2023. 

    The Northern Water Supply Project Team 

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Page last updated: 05 Dec 2022, 10:12 PM