South Australia’s unique climate and geography brings relatively low rainfall and drought that could put water supplies at risk, and the State is recognised internationally for its capabilities in water resource management and its networked water distribution system.

The State has moved to diversify water supply sources over a number of years, having invested in recycled wastewater, stormwater reuse and desalinated water to provide climate-independent sources of water to supplement water from its reservoirs, the River Murray and groundwater.

The Water Industry Act 2012 provides that the government maintain strategies to ensure the State's water supplies are secure and reliable and are able to sustain economic growth.

More than 50 per cent of Adelaide’s annual demand can be met with recycled or desalinated water.

SA Water

River Murray

SA Water manages water services in South Australia and has a history spanning more than 160 years.

SA Water is a government owned business established under State based legislation and is directly affected by a range of other laws that govern everything from drainage to safe drinking water.

The Safe Drinking Water Act 2011 and the Safe Drinking Water Regulations 2012 ensure water is tested regularly, and water quality results are published online.

SA Water maintains and operates 32 reservoirs and weirs across the state including 10 major metropolitan reservoirs, and maintains one of the largest supply networks in the southern hemisphere with more than 27,000 kilometres of water mains and more than 8,900 kilometres of sewerage mains.

SA Water is a signatory to the Australian water industry’s commitment to support the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations General Assembly, and a participant of the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative

Drop of water

SA Water is undertaking the following four programs in support of its sustainable development commitment:

  1. Improving the quality and reliability of drinking water in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytijatjara (APY lands).
  2. Providing free drinking water fountains across the state and encouraging reusable drink bottles.
  3. Supporting community partnerships that share our vision of water management, education and conservation.
  4. Creating zero cost energy future through solar-powered water treatment plants.

Zero cost energy

Zero cost energy SA Water

SA Water is one of the state’s single largest electricity users.

Its zero cost energy future project is delivered through seven key initiatives that include demand scheduling, energy efficiency, energy storage, own generation, and energy market levers to effectively manage long-term energy usage.

A $300 million investment will install 154 megawatts of solar photovoltaics at more than 30 sites and 34 megawatt hours of energy storage devices to offset the energy requirements of treating and transporting water, generating up to 70% of total energy needs.

Water Security

Water Security Statement 2021

The South Australian Government has developed a Water Security Statement, which includes ten strategic priorities to further enhance water security and meet the state’s growth targets, while adapting to a changing climate.