A project to deliver improved water security in the Clare Valley to support viticulture, agriculture and jobs in the region is a step closer with the appointment of a leading advisory firm to undertake the preliminary business case.
Kellogg Brown and Root Pty Limited Advisory Services (KBR) has been engaged to undertake the preliminary business case to investigate water supply and delivery options to provide water security in the Clare Valley.
Primary Industries minister David Basham said the $800,000 project, funded under the Australian Government's National Water Grid Fund, is being delivered by the state government in partnership with the Clare Valley Wine and Grape Association (CVWGA) and key stakeholders.
"The project is a key step in supporting the Clare Valley to ensure a more reliable and secure water supply for grape growers and primary industries in the region which could help boost the local economy and create jobs," Mr Basham said.
"Ensuring long-term water security has been a priority for the region for many years and the Marshall Liberal Government is pleased to be working with the Morrison Coalition Government as well as industry to deliver a solution.
"The impact of drought, low rainfall, diminishing ground water and reduced viability of surface water for irrigation has increased the importance for alternative water sources to be found for the Clare Valley.
"Securing a sustainable and secure additional water supply to the Clare Valley will contribute to continued regional economic growth and boosting productivity to the agriculture sector through long term sustainability for grape growers and wine producers, horticulture and livestock industries."
Federal Member for Grey, Rowan Ramsey said funding for the preliminary business case is from the Morrison Coalition Government's $3.5 billion National Water Grid Fund.
"All around Australia we are investing in securing and improving water supply," Mr Ramsey said.
"In SA we have limited capacity to capture "new water", but we have great capacity to improve the economic return on the water we do have and providing secure water to the Clare Valley ticks all the boxes.
"A preliminary business case is the first step towards increasing local water supply and security, and this project will look at the different options available in the Clare Valley including a possible pipeline from the Bundaleer Reservoir.
"Importantly it will also contribute towards creating more local jobs, productivity for the region and local primary industries, generating more employment opportunities, improve climate resilience."
The preliminary business case will investigate and shortlist potential water supply options that could meet existing and future water demands and assist in determining the merit towards developing a more detailed business case.
As part of this work KBR will engage with existing water customers, potential new primary producers and users, current infrastructure owners and industry stakeholders.
"This will include understanding the industry demand for water, looking at the economic benefits and costs of the potential options, understanding the gaps between the current and future demand, exploring business models and funding requirements along with relevant regulatory and legal considerations," Mr Basham said.
Clare Valley Wine and Grape Association Chairman, the Hon Martin Ferguson AM welcomed the announcement.
"This important stage of the project will directly involve our members as we ascertain from them their short and long-term demand and requirements for water," he said.
"New water for the Clare Valley region is essential for our primary industries, particularly viticulture, and for the broader community as it will bring much needed economic, social and environmental benefits to the region and to the state."
It is currently anticipated that the preliminary business case will be delivered by the end of July.
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