The State Government will investigate whether an expansion of the Northern Adelaide Irrigation Scheme (NAIS) to the Clare Valley would meet the growing water needs of the regions winegrape growers.
Almost $60,000 has been committed towards a feasibility study to explore opportunities to provide a more reliable and secure water supply for winegrape growers in the Clare Valley and surrounds.
Announcing the ‘Clare Valley Sustainable Water Supply Feasibility Study’ at a vineyard in Clare today, Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said the winegrape industry in the region is crying out for greater water security.
“The Clare Valley is a world-renowned premium wine producing region but growers face continual challenges with irrigation water supply and security which is restricting industry productivity and growth,” said Minister Whetstone.
“By undertaking this feasibility study, there may be an opportunity to address some of the challenges winegrape growers in the Clare Valley and surrounds are facing when it comes to irrigation.
“This project is part of a broader investigation of viable water infrastructure solutions to meet industry growth opportunities.
“One option this study will explore to meet the increasing water needs of the Clare Valley and Barossa wine regions, is a strategic expansion of the NAIS as a secure source of water.
“The first step of the study is to undertake survey work to determine both current and future demand for irrigation water in the Clare Valley region.
“The State Government is committed to supporting growth in South Australia’s wine industry and addressing barriers to expansion.”
Clare Valley Wine & Grape Association Independent Chair Stuart McNab said long-term water security has been a priority for the region for many years.
“The association welcomes the announcement of a study that would investigate the feasibility of other water-supply options for the region as an important step forward,” said Mr McNab.
“A sustainable and secure supply of water is crucial for continued economic growth of the Clare Valley.”
The feasibility study is being supported by $58,500 from the $1.8 million South Australian Wine Industry Development Scheme (SAWIDS).