KANGAROO Island could soon have a more secure drinking water supply, more economic activity and improved bushfire resilience with a proposed new $33-million government-funded desalination plant at Penneshaw.
The two-megalitre a day seawater desalination plant will improve drinking water security and provide better water infrastructure to support the local tourism and agriculture industries.
It will supplement the existing 400-kilolitre a day Penneshaw Desalination Plant and the 540ML Middle River Reservoir as drinking water sources supplying KI through an interconnected pipeline network.
The new pipelines would enable customer connections in American River, Baudin Beach, Island Beach and Sapphiretown.
The project would also allow water supply to a potential new golf course and other commercial developments.
Premier Steven Marshall, who is on the island today making a number of announcements, said the investment would create an estimated 500 jobs and add more than $200m of economic value to KI in the next 15 years.
"The summer's devastating bushfires highlighted the water infrastructure issues faced on KI and a new desalination plant will improve water security and supply," he said.
Water Minister David Speirs said the desalination plant would be a critical piece of water infrastructure for KI.
"Along with new pipelines, it would enable more than 1000 properties at the eastern end of the island who currently source their water supplies through rainwater tanks and private water carters to connect to a secure and reliable drinking water source," he said.
At the height of the summer's devastating bushfires, the present KI water supply system could not provide enough water to meet demand on the system from both customers and firefighting.
Fire damage to the Middle River treatment plant also meant that customers were reliant on water carted from Penneshaw and the mainland.
The total cost of the proposed desalination plant is $47.8m.
The state government is working closely with the federal government to secure the additional funding required.
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