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Recycled stormwater projects will help future-proof iconic Basin sites: Plibersek and Close

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The Hon. Tanya Plibersek MP, Minister for the Environment and Water, the Hon. Susan Close MP, Deputy Premier for South Australia, Joint Media Release, 7 July 2022

The Australian and South Australian governments today announced $2.7 million to improve water infrastructure in South Australia, while delivering 126 ML of water savings to the environment.

The Marion Water Efficiency Project will enable the City of Marion to reduce water use from the main Adelaide water supplies, which are often pumped from the Murray–Darling Basin, and help future-proof iconic sites like the Coorong and Lower Lakes.

This will enable council land to be irrigated from harvested stormwater under the existing scheme through this project, with savings contributing to the 450 GL of additional environmental water under the Basin Plan.

The project utilises infrastructure upgrades and technology advancements in recycled water to reduce reliance on the Murray–Darling Basin. It allows the use of recycled water to sustain the City of Marion’s reserves and sporting fields, also reducing the volume of urban run-off discharged to Adelaide’s coastal waters.

The $1.33 billion State Led Off-farm Efficiency Program funds projects like this one to first and foremost, improve irrigation, urban and industrial networks to deliver water for the environment, supporting our rivers and wetlands across the Basin and their wider ecosystems.

Projects under the State Led Off-farm Efficiency Program are proposed by states in partnership with irrigation infrastructure operators or other water users and submitted to the Commonwealth for assessment and approval.

Quotes attributable to Minister for the Environment and Water, Hon Tanya Plibersek MP:

“The Australian Government is committed to delivering the 450 GL of additional water for the environment set out in the Basin Plan.

“We recognise this water is vital to sustaining iconic sites and ecosystems right across the Basin. This includes sites like the Ramsar-listed Coorong and Lower Lakes, giving them a fighting chance from our changing climate.

“This project is a small but important catalyst that has the potential to create a domino effect of future projects harnessing innovative recycled water infrastructure to supply various water needs, ultimately providing key water savings to our environment.

“Today while I visit South Australia as part of my first Basin tour as Commonwealth Water Minister, I want to send an important message that while I’m here taking the time to listen, engage and see firsthand the impacts of good water management.

“Almost a decade ago the Gillard Government brought the Basin jurisdictions together to agree and adopt the Plan. It’s now time we deliver on that Basin Plan as it was intended, and we have no time to waste.

“With this first innovative project underway utilising recycled water, I will continue to work closely with my South Australian counterpart to progress discussions on a number of other similar projects.”

Quotes attributable to the Deputy Premier of South Australia, Hon Susan Close MP:

“This infrastructure will reduce reliance on the River Murray without affecting water markets or primary production in the Murray-Darling Basin.

“The project will see the installation of a booster pump, 9.5 kms of distribution pipe, a chlorination treatment plant, and an injection and extraction bore sunk while creating 17 direct and 35 indirect jobs which is a huge co-benefit to the local community.

“Recovering the additional 450 GL water for the environment will benefit not just South Australia’s rivers and wetlands, but parts of the wider Basin, across iconic sites like Menindee Lakes and the Darling-Baaka as well.

“We welcome Minister Plibersek to our State today as part of her first tour and we welcome the Australian Government’s commitment to deliver the 450 GL as intended in the Basin Plan.”

For more information on the entire $1.54 billion Off-farm Efficiency Program, visit: Off-farm Efficiency Program – DCCEEW.

Related story: Water projects deliver off-farm savings: Davey.


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