Barossa Valley Region water supply

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Water security for agricultural production in the Barossa Valley
Priority Initiative
Location
Barossa, South Australia
Geography
Smaller cities and regional centres
Category
Access to Water
Problem/Opportunity timeframe
Longer term (10-15 years)
Proposed By
SA Government
Date added to the IPL
26 February 2021
Barossa Valley Region water supply

Problem

The Barossa Valley Region, including Eden Valley, produces high-quality wine for domestic and export markets and supports a valuable tourism industry and other primary industries such as livestock. Access to secure water sources is critical to these industries.

The River Murray is currently the major source of irrigation water to the Barossa Valley Region. Smaller volumes of groundwater are available, although the quality in some areas is not fit-for-purpose or sufficient to meet increasing industry demand.

The region’s wine industry, by virtue of its reliance on climate dependent sources of water supply from the River Murray, is exposed to drought, climate variability and climate change risks. The 2019 Australian Infrastructure Audit found that changes in water demand over coming years could affect economic activity and infrastructure requirements in some regional areas. These changes may be exacerbated in drier years.

Improving water security, production capacity and climate resilience for the region will reduce the economic impacts of future droughts and could increase production from existing vineyards.

Proposed initiative

Potential options to address the initiative include:

  • non-infrastructure options, such as demand management
  • better-use of or upgrading existing water infrastructure assets
  • new infrastructure to enable access to water supply sources that are not climate dependent

Next steps

Proponent to identify initiatives and develop options (Stage 2 of Infrastructure Australia’s Assessment Framework).