Water project proposals sought

Agribusinesses in the north are being encouraged to put forward project proposals in readiness for the installation of the Northern Adelaide Irrigation Scheme (NAIS).
SA Water is seeking proposals from businesses that wish to access the scheme’s projected 12 gigalitres a year of recycled water from the Bolivar Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Recently NAIS was given federal funding of $46 million, with a state commitment of $110 million secured earlier in the year.
SA Water’s General Manager of Strategy, Performance and Innovation, Jim McGuire, said the NAIS brings a once in a generation opportunity to secure a reliable and long-term supply of climate and season-independent water.
“The aim is to use this water to develop a new agri-food precinct across 3000 hectares of the Northern Adelaide Plains, which will supply booming export markets in Asia and across the world,” Mr McGuire said.
“The NAIS will allow existing growers in the Virginia area to continue servicing local markets, while also leveraging off these international opportunities.
“There is the potential for local businesses to expand their services to support new industry that will develop north of the Gawler River.
The company has indicated it will hold community drop-in sessions in the near future for people to learn more about the scheme and how it will benefit the northern Adelaide Plains region and the state as a whole.
“The project is a great opportunity to drive investment, employment growth, and export earnings,” Mr McGuire stated.
“Project proposals will be evaluated for their contribution to Gross Domestic Product, including investment value, export revenues and job creation.”
Once developed, the NAIS is forecast to create around 3700 jobs and add more than $500 million a year to the state’s economy
All NAIS customers will be required to make a one-off capital contribution, pay annual service and consumption charges, and will also be responsible for on-farm infrastructure.
“Water through the scheme is suitable for horticulture, floriculture, fruit and nut orchards, table and wine grapes, high-value broad-acre cropping, poultry and other intensive animal husbandry, and aquaculture,” Mr McGuire said.
The first round of project proposals will close on November 15. Round two will close on 28 February 2018.
Construction of the scheme is expected to begin in early 2018, with the first water delivered in 2019.
For full details on the scheme, project proposal forms and guidelines, visit the SA Tenders and Contracts website at www.tenders.sa.gov.au.
Suppliers and businesses can register their interest with SA Water by emailing NAISsuppliers@sawater.com.au.

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