Penfield irrigators to feel the flow of cheaper water

Access to cheaper high-quality climate-independent recycled water will significantly reduce water bills for vegetable growers in Penfield and surrounding northern Adelaide suburbs from early next year.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said 20 irrigators had recently signed up to the $155.6 million Northern Adelaide Irrigation Scheme (NAIS).

“This scheme will help expand the region's agriculture industry and increase its export potential—things that previously have been hampered by limits on water availability and high costs,” Mr McCormack said.

“The scheme is expected to create thousands of new jobs for South Australia, primarily in regional areas, which is a great result for the entire community.”

South Australian Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said growers in Penfield are among the first customers for the much-anticipated Northern Adelaide Irrigation Scheme.

“The first 20 food producers who have signed on will get access to recycled water to increase productivity and competitiveness,” Minister Whetstone said.

“Providing long-term contracts will ensure water security for new horticulture investments and expansions and encourage investment.

“The Marshall Liberal Government is backing our horticultural and agricultural industries and the NAIS is a vital project to capitalise on growth on the Adelaide plains.”

Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey said the Coolanie Water Scheme was also progressing, with the Federal and South Australian governments recently signing a funding agreement.

“I am pleased to say the project partners will now be able to get on with construction,” Mr Ramsey said.

“The Coolanie Water Scheme will increase water security by providing a direct supply to farm properties, allowing primary producers to increase their breeding stock.”

The $155.6 million NAIS is jointly funded, with the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government providing $45.6 million through its $1.3 billion National Water Infrastructure Development Fund. The South Australian Government through SA Water is providing the remainder.

The $1.43 million Coolanie Water Scheme has also been jointly funded, with the Australian Government providing $715,000 and the SA Government and District Council of Franklin Harbour providing the remainder.