Potential for more than 5000 jobs as Northern Adelaide Irrigation Scheme progresses

A proposal to expand the use of recycled water for primary production in the Northern Adelaide Plains suggests there is the potential to create more than 5000 jobs. The water would help produce crops in high-tech greenhouses which maximise production and water-use efficiency, while also minimising the requirement for water storage in winter. 

The proposal was developed by a consortium of companies after SA Water called for Expressions of Interest to use an additional 20 gigalitres of recycled water from the Bolivar Waste Water Treatment Plant as part of the Northern Adelaide Irrigation Scheme.

The State Government, through SA Water, will now progress the consortium’s proposal to the feasibility stage and examine the potential economic and employment benefits of the proposal, with interim results expected by the end of 2016.

Results will be used to inform the State Government’s submission to the Federal Government to secure capital funding for the NAIS from the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund.


The consortium consists of South Australian firms Tonkin Consulting and Leed Engineering and Construction, and two of Spain’s leading water technology and horticultural companies, Valoriza Agua and New Growing Systems (a subsidiary of Primaflor).

Currently, about 17 gigalitres of recycled water from the Bolivar WWTP is supplied each year to about 400 customers through the Virginia Pipeline Scheme (VPS).

SA Water will continue to explore opportunities to maximise benefits for all recycled water stakeholders in the Northern Adelaide Plains, including options for the future operation and maintenance of the VPS.

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Posted 19 Sept 2016