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Barossa Water Security Strategy

The Department for Environment and Water (DEW) is investing in water security planning as regions adapt to a changing climate and increasing demands for water.

Access to secure sources of water will remain important to make sure we have the water we need to support economic growth, vibrant and healthy communities and healthy ecosystems into the future.

As part of our approach to targeted water security planning, DEW is currently working with the Barossa Valley and Eden Valley communities to develop an integrated water security strategy to support current demand and future growth in the region.

The development of water security strategies recognises there are regions and industries where demand for water is at risk of exceeding available supplies.

What we are doing

Water security strategies aim to build on traditional water allocation planning processes (which apply to surface and groundwater resources) and link fit-for-purpose water supplies with existing and emerging water demands. The strategy development process allows new supplies, expansion of existing supplies and changing demand profiles to be considered in the context of a changing climate.

One version of this more targeted approach is being trialed in the Barossa. This is a region currently experiencing water scarcity with opportunities to harness alternative water sources to underpin existing demand and increase resilience to future drought.

The process integrates strategic foresight and resilience-based planning. It purposefully takes a long-term view that considers the significant global, regional and local uncertainties anticipated to be faced in the future.

Three workshops will be held throughout 2021 to develop a shared vision for the Barossa and consider pathways to achieve that vision under a range of future scenarios and then assess potential options. A strategy will then be finalised incorporating the most robust options.


Process stages

April to May 2021

Review and baseline

First workshop – 7 June 2021

Workshop 1

  • Future vision
  • Initial backcasting
  • System mapping

June to July 2021

Interim analyses

Second workshop – 12 August 2021

Workshop 2

  • Scenario development
  • Scenario guided backcasting
  • Cross-scenario analysis

August to September 2021

CRAFT stress-testing

Third workshop – October 2021

Workshop 3

  • Integrated analysis and final choice points
  • Robust strategy

November 2021

Consult on draft strategy

December 2021

Ratification of strategy

There are numerous water-focused projects already underway in the Barossa, and the strategy will take into account current projects, their results and outcomes alongside the strategy’s timeframes. The strategy development will complement existing projects and bring together the different understandings of water use and availability in the Barossa to form a robust long-term plan to meet the needs of the Barossa in the future.

A draft of the Water Security Strategy will be made available for comment in late 2021, before finalising the strategy in early 2022.

The project is being led by DEW in partnership with PIRSA, SA Water, the Environment Protection Authority, Northern & Yorke Landscape Board, Barossa Grape & Wine Association (BGWA), Barossa Infrastructure Limited (BIL), The Barossa Council, Light Regional Council, RDA Barossa Gawler Light and Adelaide Plains.

Related documents

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