Bushfire crisis sparks funding for Kangaroo Island desalination plant

The South Australian government has committed $33 million to build a desalination plant on Kangaroo Island to address issues with water infrastructure highlighted during the recent bushfires.

Jun 05, 2020, updated Jun 05, 2020
Kangaroo Island's bushfires highlighted the need for better water security. Photo: AAP/David Mariuz

Kangaroo Island's bushfires highlighted the need for better water security. Photo: AAP/David Mariuz

Located at Penneshaw, on the island’s eastern coast, the two-megalitre per day seawater desalination plant will function in addition to existing operations.

While visiting Kangaroo Island today, Premier Steven Marshall said the new plant would improve water security and supply.

He said the investment would create about 500 jobs and more than $200 million of economic value to the island over the next 15 years.

“This project will future-proof the Kangaroo Island community,” Marshall said.

More than 1000 properties on the island’s east will also be connected to the system through new pipelines.

Water Minister David Speirs said those customers currently sourced water through rainwater tanks and private carters.

During the bushfires, the water supply could not provide enough water to meet the demands of customers and firefighters.

Damage to the Middle River treatment plant also meant customers were reliant on water transferred from Penneshaw and the mainland.

The total cost of the project is estimated to be $47.8 million.

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The State Government says it is working closely with the Federal Government to secure the additional funding.


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