New dam to boost irrigation supplies for vineyards in McLaren Vale

A 600 megalitre dam will be built in the southern Adelaide suburb of Seaford Heights which will see treated wastewater otherwise destined for the ocean redirected and used to irrigate grapevines in nearby McLaren Vale, Adelaide newspaper The Advertiser has reported.

Acting Prime Minister and Regional Development Minister Michael McCormack is in South Australia today (Tuesday 27 August) to announce the dam, which will help redirect treated wastewater from the Christies Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant to irrigators.

The newspaper quoted Jock Harvey, chair of the McLaren Vale Community Sustainability Company Council — a not-for-profit group formed by the region’s irrigators which has partnered with the Willunga Basin Water Company to deliver the project — as saying the dam would contribute to the additional water required to secure the future of horticulture in McLaren Vale.

“This storage dam takes us closer to our ultimate goal of zero outflow to the Gulf St Vincent, which will both improve the marine environment and increase the opportunities for horticulture,” Harvey was quoted.

It is the second project in the region to use wastewater from the plant, located in Adelaide’s south, to irrigate winegrapes. Treated wastewater from the plant is already pumped through a network of pipes to many growers in the McLaren Vale region.