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A business case for the construction of a new reservoir in the McLaren Vale district of South Australia will be funded by the federal government, with the potential to bring 1,350ml of recycled water to the area.

If viable, the McLaren Vale Irrigation Water Security project could provide around 750ml of new water allocations for irrigation in the region, helping businesses grow and supporting jobs.

Upgrades to increase the capacity of Willunga Basin Water’s existing recycled water network will also be considered.

The Federal Government is providing $470,000 for the $500,000 business case, with the remaining $30,000 coming from the Government of South Australia and other partners.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Barnaby Joyce, said providing a safe and sustainable source of water in these areas would spur the growth of regional communities and industries.

“We are committed to providing the water infrastructure that South Australians need and it brings us closer to getting the job done for the McLaren Vale district,” Mr Joyce said.

“This project could increase economic activity in the region by up to $100 million and support up to 300 jobs, providing a much-needed economic boost.

South Australia’s Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, David Basham, welcomed the funding for the business case.

“We know that water is an essential resource for our farmers so they can continue to grow world-class produce, contributing to a strong economy and supporting local jobs,” Basham said.

“The business case is another important step towards improved access to water in the South Australian region and builds on similar work undertaken in the Barossa, Eden and Clare valleys and the success of the Coolanie Water Scheme, which is delivering positive results for farmers on the Eyre Peninsula. .”

South Australian Environment and Water Minister David Speirs said ensuring long-term water security for farmers is a priority for the South Australian government.

“We know that water is one of our most precious resources, which is not only needed for critical human needs, but which drives economic growth to create jobs and support a healthy environment,” Mr. Speirs.

South Australian Senator Andrew McLachlan said the federal government also has $20 million for a package of ten construction projects across the state as part of the National Water Grid Connections pathway, which, together will increase water availability by 1,895 ML each year.

“This will support approximately 4,000 acres of additional irrigable land in the state, bolstering our local production while supporting approximately 60 construction jobs and 860 ongoing positions,” McLachlan said.

“We are also looking to the future by providing $1.8 million to study the future construction of new water infrastructure projects in the Eden and Clare valleys.

“Water is our most precious resource and the lifeblood of primary production regions like McLaren Vale and Clare Valley. It is essential that we continue to invest in innovative projects that improve water access and security and build resilience to drought due to climate change.

The detailed business case for the McLaren Vale Irrigation Water Security project will include demand studies, network modeling, concept design, site investigations and geotechnical analysis.

The business case is expected to be completed in 2022.

For more information on National Water Grid projects, please visit

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