Northern Water

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

What's being decided/considered?

Northern Water is investigating the option of a seawater desalination plant in the Spencer Gulf at Cape Hardy. The desalination plant would be connected to the Upper Spencer Gulf and northern South Australia via approximately 600km of pipeline.

Aimed at addressing the limited sustainable water supplies in the Far North and Upper Spencer Gulf Regions of South Australia, and encouraging growth of the industries crucial to achieving net-zero goals, including the emerging clean energy and hydrogen industries, Northern Water would provide a climate-independent water source.

The map below illustrates the proposed project pipeline.

During 2024 - 2025 we will undertake a range of project planning, design and assessment activities to understand potential project opportunities, benefits, impacts and costs.

Activities will include:

  • Formal tender process and development of agreed contract terms with a preferred contractor to design, build, operate and maintain the plant and pipeline
  • More detailed evaluation of the overall environmental, social and economic impact of the project
  • Progression of Cultural Heritage Survey and Native Title negotiations
  • Land access negotiations for the plant and pipeline
  • Ongoing engagement with stakeholders and the community to ensure risks and opportunities are properly understood and addressed
  • Other activities required to provide Government with clear understanding of the risks and opportunities associated with the project.

The project team is seeking feedback from the community, stakeholders, landowners, and traditional owners to inform the assessment process and assist in making a final decision on the project.

Your feedback will help identify management measures to reduce risk and enhance local community benefits.

Background

An extensive site selection process commenced in 2022, which included input from key stakeholders, technical investigations, and a formal multi-criteria-assessment (MCA) process.

Three sites were initially short listed (at Crag Point, Port Lowly and at Mullaquana Station), with Mullaquana Station best performing in the initial MCA scoring process. In mid-2023 a fourth site at Cape Hardy was added to the short list following additional industry interest that would reduced the financial impacts of constructing the plant so far south in the Spencer Gulf making it a potentially feasible option.

Early engagement with key stakeholders was favourable towards Cape Hardy as a potential site for the desalination plant and a supplementary MCA process was undertaken for the Cape Hardy site in mid-2023. This identified Cape Hardy as the best performing site across the four options considered.

We consulted with the local community and stakeholders regarding the outcomes of the MCA and most people indicated their support of Cape Hardy as the better site to focus on for further study.

We presented the MCA result and the stakeholders and community feedback to the South Australian Government to help inform the selection of a preferred study site for further investigations.

To learn more, visit:

Get involved

The Northern Water team is committed to transparent and two-way engagement with stakeholders and the wider community as part of the Planning and Assessment phase.

For more information: 

Get involved:

  • subscribe to project updates
  • email your feedback to the project team northernwater@sa.gov.au

  • call the Northern Water project team on 08 8429 4650

What are the next steps?

We will publish project updates and local community engagement opportunities throughout 2024-2025 on this page. via the news feed tool below. To receive email updates at significant project points please subscribe to the project.

If a final investment decision to proceed with the Northern Water project is made, the earliest that water would be available for use is in 2028.

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

What's being decided/considered?

Northern Water is investigating the option of a seawater desalination plant in the Spencer Gulf at Cape Hardy. The desalination plant would be connected to the Upper Spencer Gulf and northern South Australia via approximately 600km of pipeline.

Aimed at addressing the limited sustainable water supplies in the Far North and Upper Spencer Gulf Regions of South Australia, and encouraging growth of the industries crucial to achieving net-zero goals, including the emerging clean energy and hydrogen industries, Northern Water would provide a climate-independent water source.

The map below illustrates the proposed project pipeline.

During 2024 - 2025 we will undertake a range of project planning, design and assessment activities to understand potential project opportunities, benefits, impacts and costs.

Activities will include:

  • Formal tender process and development of agreed contract terms with a preferred contractor to design, build, operate and maintain the plant and pipeline
  • More detailed evaluation of the overall environmental, social and economic impact of the project
  • Progression of Cultural Heritage Survey and Native Title negotiations
  • Land access negotiations for the plant and pipeline
  • Ongoing engagement with stakeholders and the community to ensure risks and opportunities are properly understood and addressed
  • Other activities required to provide Government with clear understanding of the risks and opportunities associated with the project.

The project team is seeking feedback from the community, stakeholders, landowners, and traditional owners to inform the assessment process and assist in making a final decision on the project.

Your feedback will help identify management measures to reduce risk and enhance local community benefits.

Background

An extensive site selection process commenced in 2022, which included input from key stakeholders, technical investigations, and a formal multi-criteria-assessment (MCA) process.

Three sites were initially short listed (at Crag Point, Port Lowly and at Mullaquana Station), with Mullaquana Station best performing in the initial MCA scoring process. In mid-2023 a fourth site at Cape Hardy was added to the short list following additional industry interest that would reduced the financial impacts of constructing the plant so far south in the Spencer Gulf making it a potentially feasible option.

Early engagement with key stakeholders was favourable towards Cape Hardy as a potential site for the desalination plant and a supplementary MCA process was undertaken for the Cape Hardy site in mid-2023. This identified Cape Hardy as the best performing site across the four options considered.

We consulted with the local community and stakeholders regarding the outcomes of the MCA and most people indicated their support of Cape Hardy as the better site to focus on for further study.

We presented the MCA result and the stakeholders and community feedback to the South Australian Government to help inform the selection of a preferred study site for further investigations.

To learn more, visit:

Get involved

The Northern Water team is committed to transparent and two-way engagement with stakeholders and the wider community as part of the Planning and Assessment phase.

For more information: 

Get involved:

  • subscribe to project updates
  • email your feedback to the project team northernwater@sa.gov.au

  • call the Northern Water project team on 08 8429 4650

What are the next steps?

We will publish project updates and local community engagement opportunities throughout 2024-2025 on this page. via the news feed tool below. To receive email updates at significant project points please subscribe to the project.

If a final investment decision to proceed with the Northern Water project is made, the earliest that water would be available for use is in 2028.

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Northern Water Project

5 months

Page last updated: 09 Apr 2024, 04:00 PM