SA Water update on desalination plant for EP

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The Eyre Peninsula urgently needs water security and a 5.3 gigalitre per year desalination plant near Billy Lights Point in Port Lincoln is our preferred solution. The proximity of Billy Lights Point to the existing water supply network means that it is a cost-effective location for a desalination plant, and through considered engineering design, the plant can be constructed and operated with minimal impact on the surrounding marine and coastal environment. The desalination plant will provide a drinking water source that does not depend on rainfall, delivering water security and water quality improvements for agriculture, industry, and the Eyre Peninsula community. With 48% of the region’s output derived from water-intensive industries including agriculture, manufacturing, and mining, increased water security will not only sustain but support the growth of these key industries.

The Uley South Basin currently supplies approximately 75% of Eyre Peninsula’s drinking water each year. Extensive monitoring of water levels has demonstrated a long-term trend of reduced recharge for the Uley South Basin, with data for 2021/22 indicating that despite being an above average period for rainfall, the basin experienced only average recharge. Continued extraction from the Uley South borefield at current levels, in combination with the long-term trend of reduced recharge, is predicted to cause water levels in parts of the basin to reach historically low levels by the mid-2020s. Sustained overextraction of the basin risks the freshwater in the basin becoming more saline, as well seawater intrusion permanently decreasing the size of the freshwater lens. Reducing annual extraction from the Uley South Basin is key to ensuring the resource remains viable for the long term, so it is vital that a reliable, climate-independent source of drinking water is delivered by 2025/26.

For more information about the project, please visit or contact Jemma Silvester, Stakeholder Engagement Advisor, on 0477 448 544 or


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