South Australian water programmes and projects
South Australian River Murray Sustainability Program
The Australian Government has committed funding of up to $265 million, under two National Partnership Agreements, to the South Australian Government to undertake delivery of the South Australian River Murray Sustainability (SARMS) Program. See the program’s national partnerships agreement at National Partnerships – Environment on the Council on Federal Financial Relations website.
The SARMS program aims to increase the efficiency and productivity of South Australian irrigation businesses, and secure and return 36 GL of long-term annual average yield ‘gap bridging’ water to the Commonwealth for environmental water use.
The program provides:
- $80 million for irrigation efficiency improvements
- $40 million for a South Australian water purchase program
- $120 million for irrigation industry assistance
- $25 million for regional economic development.
Contact the South Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA), which administers the program, with any inquiries. See South Australian River Murray Sustainability (SARMS) Program for details.
Commonwealth On-Farm Further Irrigation Efficiency Program—South Australian pilot
The South Australian pilot of the Commonwealth On-Farm Further Irrigation Efficiency (COFFIE) program provided funding for upgrades to irrigation infrastructure, as well as other activities that improved the productivity of the farm business. This program closed to new applications in 2018. See Commonwealth On-Farm Further Irrigation Efficiency Program – South Australian pilot for details.
Private Irrigation Infrastructure Program for South Australia
The Private Irrigation Infrastructure Program for South Australia (PIIP-SA) funds irrigation infrastructure efficiency improvements for Murray-Darling Basin operators in South Australia, with a share of the water savings achieved from those projects to be used for environmental water purposes. In exchange for funding, successful applicants will transfer water entitlements to the Commonwealth for environmental water purposes.
See Private Irrigation Infrastructure Program for South Australia for details.
Coorong Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth Project
The objective of the Coorong, Lower Lakes and Murray Mouth (CLLMM) Recovery Project is to assist the South Australian Government in managing the site for ecological health and to support the implementation and objectives of the CLLMM Long-term recovery plan on the South Australian Government Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources website. The objectives of the long-term plan are to provide a clear direction for the future management of the CLLMM region as a healthy, productive and resilient Wetland of International Importance.
In addition to completed early works projects ($36.9 million), the Australian Government will contribute up to $123.3 million funding for management actions under the CLLMM Recovery Project.
Riverine Recovery Project
The Riverine Recovery Project aims to implement an improved riverine management regime for the River Murray from the South Australian–Victorian border to Wellington in South Australia and deliver water savings for transfer to the Commonwealth for environmental purposes. The activities undertaken as part of this project reflect a landscape-scale approach to addressing the problems of the River Murray and are expected to provide for a more effective, efficient and flexible management of environmental water. The Australian Government is contributing up to $89 million towards the project.
This project is to be completed by June 2018. See Murray Futures Riverine Recovery on the South Australian Government Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources website for details.
Flows for the Future
The Australian Government has committed $12.1 million to assist the South Australian (SA) Government in improving natural water flow patterns in the Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges Water Resource Area (EMLR WRA).This will be achieved through bypassing low flows at up to 500 strategically located dams and water course diversions in the Angas and Bremer catchments in the EMLR WRA, with the potential to extend the Works Locations into the Marne Saunders catchments.
Environmental benefits that are supported through bypassing low flows in the Angas and Bremer river systems include:
- increases in native fauna and flora, particularly fish and amphibians; and
- improvements in water quality in the immediate project area and downstream.
The project will also support the agricultural and tourism industry to remain sustainable.
For more information on the project visit the South Australian Natural Resources Flows for the Future web site.
Water Management Partnership Agreement for South Australia and associated project schedules
In 2010 a Water Management Partnership Agreement (WMPA) was completed between the Commonwealth and South Australia. Each project has a project schedule (funding agreement) under the WMPA.
South Australia Integrated Pipelines
Around $120 million has been provided by the Australian Government for the construction of a series of potable and irrigation pipelines in areas adjacent to the South Australian Lower Lakes. The pipelines supply potable and irrigation water to communities which were previously reliant upon the Lower Lakes for their water supplies. The project is complete and the pipelines are operational.