Media statement - Dam good news for Onkaparinga

Published on 30 August 2019

The City of Onkaparinga has welcomed this week’s announcement by Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack to invest $2.5 million into a 600 megalitre dam at Seaford Heights.

A joint project of the McLaren Vale Community Sustainability Company and Willunga Basin Water Company, the dam will receive recycled water from the Christies Beach Wastewater Plant, for vine irrigation across the McLaren Vale region.

Mayor Erin Thompson says further similar investment is required to future-proof the region.

She said recycled wastewater from the region’s wastewater treatment plants could be used for irrigation of urban open spaces including reserves, sporting grounds and school ovals across Onkaparinga.

“There is huge potential in sharing this resource to benefit the entire region and we’re very keen to work with SA Water and the state and federal governments to make that happen,” Mayor Thompson said.

“This idea makes perfect sense, and would build on the significant investment that the all three tiers of government have already made through the Waterproofing the South project.”

Waterproofing the South was constructed by the City of Onkaparinga between 2009 and 2014, providing stormwater harvesting facilities and an alternative water supply for the irrigation of open space across the region. Since construction, these schemes have been challenged by variable rainfall and stormwater flows.

Mayor Thompson says the introduction of recycled water into these existing networks would see a broad range of benefits for the community.

“Any increase in the re-use of wastewater reduces the amount of high quality potable water used for irrigation, reduces demand on the Murray, and reduces the amount of wastewater going into the gulf.

“We know demand for our region’s produce is growing and our urban population is climbing higher every year.

“Now is the time for SA Water and all levels of government to work closely together and invest in complementary water infrastructure in South Australia’s largest and fastest growing metropolitan council area,” Mayor Thompson said.

ENDS