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Topics > Water > Water security

McLaren Vale Regional Water Security Strategy

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

DEW is undertaking water security planning in McLaren Vale to ensure the region has the water needed to support the local economy, communities, amenity, cultural values and healthy ecosystems now and into the future.

McLaren Vale is a premium wine-producing region with over 7,300 hectares planted to vines. Irrigation water is sourced from local groundwater and recycled water from the Christies Beach and Aldinga Wastewater Treatment plants. Approximately 6,000 megalitres (ML) – 7,000 ML of recycled wastewater is supplied each year, with groundwater providing the remaining water required. Access to recycled water has taken pressure off local groundwater resources and has enabled irrigated areas to expand.

What we are doing

DEW is working in partnership with the McLaren Vale Grape, Wine & Tourism Association, City of Onkaparinga, Willunga Basin Water Company, the Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board, SA Water, Primary Industries and Regions SA and the McLaren Vale regional community to develop a long-term water security strategy.

The strategy development process allows new water supplies, expansion of existing supplies and changing demand profiles to be considered in the context of a changing climate. Strategy development seeks to ensure infrastructure projects and water management policies complement each other and support the region’s water security vision.

A strategic foresight and resilience-based planning approach is being used. This approach explicitly considers significant global, regional and local events that could affect water security.

Alongside the development of a water security strategy, a number of other water-related projects are underway. An Information Sheet provides more information about other projects underway and how they relate to the strategy.


To help develop the water security strategy, three workshops are planned throughout 2023. Through these workshops a shared water security vision for the McLaren Vale Region will be developed, and pathways to achieve that vision under a range of future scenarios will be considered.

Analysis of options, under current and future climate scenarios, will be undertaken to support the strategy development and prioritisation of actons. The final water security strategy will incorporate actions that enable the region to achieve its vision under a wide range of uncertain future conditions.

Workshop 1 to develop a shared water security vision for the McLaren Vale Region was held on 1 February 2023 at the McLaren Vale Visitor Information Centre. We started identifying actions that would contribute to achieving the shared vision. An update from workshop 1 is available here.

Workshop 2 was held on Tuesday 27 June 2023 in McLaren Vale. At this workshop, detailed scenarios for the future were developed and water security options were further refined.

Details about Workshop 3 will be provided in due course.

McLaren Vale Regional Water Security Strategy

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