Industry and community in the Far North and Upper Spencer Gulf areas of South Australia are reliant on non-renewable and climate change-sensitive water sources. These include the Great Artesian Basin and local groundwater aquifers.
Extracting water from these groundwater sources is expensive and water quality issues can affect its use. This constrains development of the existing mining industry as well as the potential for green energy and green industrial opportunities. Continued use of these water sources may also have environmental impacts for the Great Artesian Basin and the River Murray. These problems are identified in the Northern South Australia productive water security listing on the Infrastructure Priority List.
The Northern Water Project aims to provide a sustainable water source through the construction of a desalination plant in the Spencer Gulf region, and a pipeline to the north of the state.
To date, no Australian Government funding has been committed to the project. Funding is currently sought for project development activities, with funding for the full project capital costs to be sought at a later stage.