The Australian Government has just announced $45.6 million in capital funding for the Northern Adelaide Irrigation Scheme (NAIS) which complements funding previously announced by the South Australian Government. The funding will be used to: upgrade infrastructure at the Bolivar Waste Water Treatment Plant to produce an additional 12 GL per year of recycled water suitable for irrigation; build core recycled water distribution infrastructure to the area north of the Gawler River; and enable a major new irrigation area to be constructed.

The project represents an important opportunity for the use of recycled water in irrigated agricultural production. SA Water's ability to secure high-value agricultural customers is critical to realise the full extent of the opportunity on offer. We have already seen the opening up of Asian markets as a result of free trade agreements have a positive impact on the value of irrigated agricultural production in the Murray Darling Basin. Large scale greenhouse operations are also emerging based on their ability to generate year round production, product consistency, and flexibility to adapt to changing market demands.

Aither assessed the original NAIS business case for Infrastructure Australia which saw the project placed on the Infrastructure Priority List. We now look forward to seeing the project move through to the construction phase.