Water scheme set to bring benefits to plains

The Northern Adelaide Irrigation Scheme (NAIS) is quickly gaining momentum after the federal government recently committed $46 million, on the back of the State government’s share of $110 million, to the project.
The irrigation scheme is on track to deliver 12 gigalitres of water to the northern Adelaide Plains region by early 2019.
Bengy Paiolo of PIRSA, and Mark Wilson, from SA Water, addressed Adelaide Plains Council members on Monday, September 18, on the current status of the scheme and what to expect in the near future.
“South Australia has got a track record of these sort of projects, we are a leader in the waste water department, especially in regards to the Virginia Pipeline Scheme,” Mr Paiolo said.
“NAIS is now negotiating with the Commonwealth in regards to milestone delivery.
“It is pretty keen with its guidelines it wants practical commencement of the project within six months.”
A call out has been made for industries and others to put in a project proposal to use the water.
“Simply put, it’s about who wants water and how much they are prepared to pay, and SA Water is open to negotiating on price points as well as quality of the water,” he said.
There are two rounds for water applications, one closing on November 15, and the second closing February 28.
“What we’re really keen on, particularly with the council and others, is to see what people intend to do with the water,” he stated.
Mr Paiolo emphasised the importance of the Development Plan Amendment (DPA) to the NAIS, describing the link as critical, as is the sharing of as much information as possible.
“While we received the really good news with the funding, the hard work is yet to come,” he told the chamber.
“The opportunities are enormous and it’s about how to make the most of those here.”
SA Water representative, Mark Wilson, spoke about the process of obtaining information, and submitting a proposal to secure a water contract.
“The water is available to anybody, it is a public call, you can obtain information through the tender’s website,” Mr Wilson said.
“We tried to make the application forms, with the information we’re asking, at a level that does not require professional advisors to be able to complete the documents.”
There are two different price points based on the quality of the water.
For a higher level of salinity (1100 TDS), expect to pay 49c per kilolitre, the same level of salinity as the existing VPS water as well as a once off capital contribution of $2.90 per kilolitre.
A second price for water with lower salinity (600 TDS) is 99c per kilolitre.
“We really want to see where the interest is from primary producers in the area,” Mr Wilson
said.
“We are looking forward to getting a range of different industry types and uses come out of the process.
“What we are aiming to look at is if there are different locations wanting different qualities of water, then we make a better decision around where we put one final part of the treatment process.
“We need the feedback from the industry on where the demand is actually occurring so that we can finalise those sorts of details.”
The Virginia Horticultural Centre may be used as a drop-in site to ask questions and gain information on the NAIS and how to access it.
For full details on the scheme, project proposal forms and guidelines, visit the SA Tenders and Contracts website at www.tenders.sa.gov.au
Once at the website, you will need to register to gain access to the documents, search ‘NAIS’ for the appropriate information.
For further information on the DPA, APC will be holding an information session at the Two Wells Council Chambers on Thursday, October 5, from 4 – 6pm.

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