Planning new water infrastructure for the Clare Valley

Image: CVWGA New Water Subcommittee member and grape grower David Travers, SA Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham, Liberal Candidate for Frome Penny Pratt, and Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey at Bundaleer Reservoir.

The Clare Valley Wine & Grape Association (CVWGA) has welcomed last weekend’s announcement of an $800,000 Federal Government grant to fund the next stage of the association’s plans for a long-term alternative water scheme for the region.

Announced by the Federal Member for Grey, Rowan Ramsey MP, and South Australian Primary Industries Minister Hon David Basham MP, the National Water Grid Fund grant will allow the CVWGA to develop a preliminary business case (PBC) for its New Water project.

The funding comes after the Association released a pre-feasibility study earlier this year. That study identified two options for new water, stored winter river water from Bundaleer and recycled effluent from Bolivar, delivered via the second stage of the Northern Adelaide Irrigation Scheme (NAIS).

The pre-feasibility study recommended the Bundaleer option, but this PBC phase will test the economic and engineering aspects of all potential options.

CVWGA chairman Hon Martin Ferguson AM welcomed the announcement, saying “the project will ensure that Clare Valley winemakers and grapegrowers have water that they can rely on for future development of the industry”.

“The initial pre-feasibility study found there was demand for 25% more water now and increased future irrigation demand which could support a further 1188 hectares of additional vineyard planting within five years,” he said.

“The preliminary business case will enable a detailed examination of options for long-term new water, technical engineering assessments and in-principle commitments from members.

“If the business case proves viable we would hope to move towards a final business case by March 2022. If this was the outcome it could pave the way for a major infrastructure project which would be the largest our region has ever seen.

“New water will be vital, not only, to the Clare Valley wine industry, but to local and nearby farmers and growers of other commodities and to the whole community, stimulating economic activity and job creation.”


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