Working together

Working together

Productive, respectful relationships with our community, regulators and other stakeholders are key to delivering services our customers value. This includes ensuring we support our customers when something goes wrong, and protecting and improving the environment now and for future generations.

New construction partners announced

In June 2020 we announced five major companies will work together with us to deliver our $1.6 billion capital program from July 2020 through to June 2024. Their significant construction expertise will help us improve water and sewerage services for South Australians.

Major framework agreements were signed with Fulton Hogan Utilities, John Holland and Guidera O’Connor (as a joint venture), and McConnell Dowell and Diona (as a joint venture), which will see packages of work awarded progressively as rigorous performance standards are met.

To ensure our customers benefit from improved service reliability and quality we have combined leading construction sector expertise with our design, project management and water industry expertise, and our front-end engineering and client organisation partner KBR and Aurecon, who have also signed on for the next four years.

As part of the agreements, our major framework partners have detailed their commitments to South Australian industry, Aboriginal business and employment, as well as other social outcomes, and their performance against these commitments will be measured.

Investing in water networks has wide reaching and long-term benefits, from the jobs created during construction, to the sustainable prosperity of a business able to access fit for purpose water, and the ongoing health and social outcomes that clean water and reliable sanitation services embed across generations.

Strengthening support for women in STEM

The career opportunities and development of South Australian women entering the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) have been boosted by our new three-year partnership with the University of Adelaide’s Women in STEM Careers Program (WiSC).

The WiSC program provides women studying in the STEM fields with workshops and networking events designed to improve their leadership and career development, and provides a platform for future graduate employment opportunities.

Following our sponsorship in 2019, four graduates and undergraduates joined the team through the program.

With an ambitious goal to increase the number of female graduates joining our business to 60 per cent by 2024, we are making good progress with more than 50 per cent of our STEM undergraduates being female and 47 per cent of all our graduates.

Torrens Park Pump Station community colour

More than 60 litres and 120 spray cans of colourful paint now decorates our historic Torrens Park Pump Station thanks to a public art project delivered together with the City of Mitcham.

Situated next to the Torrens Park Railway Station on Belair Road, the station’s three public-facing walls were given new life by influential South Australian artist Joel Van Moore – also known as Vans the Omega – with the work completed in July 2019.

The artwork is part of an initiative to visually improve our infrastructure for the benefit of the community.

The site plays an important role in delivering clean, safe drinking water to our customers in the Mitcham and Torrens Park area.

The artwork design incorporates unique elements common to the local community including images of the nearby Brown Hill Creek, the native Purple crowned Lorikeet and parts of the pumping infrastructure from inside the station itself. The mural also features a young girl on the northern façade as a representation of the bright future of the Mitcham area.

Metropolitan Facilities Manager Richard Mayger also features on the mural, having been a dedicated member of the water industry for more than 45 years.

The work contributes to creating a vibrant and cultural community, helping people experience art in their everyday life. It was identified by the Mitcham Art Advisory Group as a project of importance, and we worked in partnership with the council to bring new life to the pump station.

Partnerships bring community benefits

In 2019-20, there were 11 recipients of our Community Partnerships Program which offers financial or in-kind support to not-for-profit community organisations to deliver events and projects across regional and metropolitan South Australia. The successful recipients deliver events or programs related to water use for a better life and help us achieve our goal of being a partner organisation within communities.

New waterholes at Monarto safari park

Through our partnership with Zoos SA, millions of litres of water helped to fill the first of eight new waterholes at Monarto Safari Park’s Wild Africa.

The first six clay lined waterholes were piped with raw River Murray water from the Murray Bridge to Onkaparinga Pipeline, providing up to 10 million litres of water per waterhole for the rare African animals roaming the 560-hectare Monarto property.

Our partnership supports the park’s exciting expansion to become the largest safari park outside of Africa.

Water flows at new community fountains

Eighteen new free drinking water fountains were installed in 2019-20 bringing the total in operation across the state to 52.

The fountains are connected to our mains supply and include both bottle refill and bubbler options, some also have an in-ground dog bowl. Built-in solar lighting makes them bright and easy to find at night.

The following fountains were installed in collaboration with local councils:

  1. Adelaide Square, Crystal Brook
  2. Bindarra Reserve, Brighton
  3. Bowker Oval, Somerton Park
  4. Christies Beach Surf Club
  5. Crown Street Reserve, Dover Gardens
  6. Lions Park, Kingston
  7. Lyndoch Square
  8. Main Street, Orroroo
  9. Memorial Oval, Port Pirie
  10. Moonta Bay foreshore
  11. Murray Bridge Visitor Information Centre
  12. Naracoorte Swimming Lake
  13. Recreation Reserve, Kimba
  14. Skate Park, Freeling
  15. Tumby Bay foreshore
  16. Whispering Wall, Barossa Reservoir Reserve

Fountains were also installed at the Adelaide Desalination Plant’s Kauwi Interpretive Centre, and South Para Reservoir Reserve.

Our Brand Ambassadors

Our Brand Ambassadors, sourced from enthusiasts across the organisation, represent our business at community events, site tours and large scale events such as the Santos Tour Down Under, WOMADelaide and the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant.

Keeping event goers cool and refreshed

During the 2019-20 summer, our Brand Ambassadors, Miss Isla and the Quench Benches helped keep event goers cool and hydrated.

Supporting our BYOB initiative, Miss Isla promotes a healthy lifestyle and better environmental outcomes by refilling re-usable bottles with safe, clean tap water.

The misting lounge adjacent to Miss Isla is greened by hanging plants creating a cool, comfortable space to relax and connect with our Brand Ambassadors. The misting lounge promotes how people can use water efficiently to reduce temperatures, increasing green space and create a better living environment.

BYOB app maps drinking fountains

In December 2019, our BYOB app was made available for download to Apple and Android devices to help South Australians and tourists find a fountain to fill up their reusable bottle. The app shows the location of more than 1,000 drinking fountains across South Australia.

Basic information about each fountain’s features include if it has a water bottle refill, dog bowl and tap. Users can rate fountains, helping to alert local councils when one may need some attention, and add new ones that are not yet on the map.

Community programs and events

In 2019-20 our community and education program provided learning opportunities for students and the community including:

  • 1,671 people touring the Adelaide Desalination Plant and Kauwi Interpretive Centre, including 14 Cree Indigenous visitors from Canada
  • 12,286 students and their teachers participating in our Brainwave learning programs
  • 447 people attending community presentations about water services and touring our treatment plants
  • our Quench Benches and fountains providing more than 100,000 litres of drinking water to about 1.3 million people at more than 120 public events across the state.

Little Para natives a budding success

More than 3,300 new native trees are sprouting at Little Para Reservoir Reserve as part of our efforts to improve the area’s ecosystem.

Partnering with the Kersbrook Landcare Nursery in Williamstown, the revegetation project will improve the environment of the reservoir’s reserve while providing a long-term solution to combat the spread of invasive Coolatai grass. The land was previously used as sheep grazing pasture which left the area vulnerable to weeds.

The revegetation efforts are also critical to maintaining the health of our catchments including the quality of water supplied to our customers.

Kadina plantings grow local gardening inspiration

More than 300 locally-sourced native plants are springing to life at our Kadina Depot as part of a landscaping project to enhance the area’s visual amenity, improve dust suppression and demonstrate water-efficient gardening methods that customers can easily replicate at home.

Working together with local Aboriginal business Stone Environmental and Northern Yorke’s branch of the Australian Plants Society, we designed the garden using 34 species of local native flora which were carefully selected for their heat tolerance and adaptation to the area’s alkaline soils.

With the depot situated in the heart of the town, this project provided an exciting opportunity to showcase gardening with native plants, helping to educate the local community and beautify the surrounding area, as well as, over time, provide shade cover to help reduce urban heat effects.

Recycled water keeps Whyalla’s oval green

A new supply of recycled water from the Whyalla Wastewater Reclamation Plant has helped curate a pristine, AFL-standard playing surface for the historic Bennett Oval.

The oval’s redevelopment included an extensive irrigation overhaul to connect to our recycled water supply, providing a climate-independent water source for the upgraded turf.

Recycled water is distributed to the council’s central pump station, where it is used to irrigate several other parks and reserves throughout the town.

Improved public access at Goolwa Barrage

Visitors to the Lower Lakes Barrages can now access the Goolwa lock thanks to a new platform and fencing on the eastern side of the lock.

Members of the public are now able to safely walk across both sides of the 30 metre-long, six metre-wide structure at the Goolwa Barrage for the first time, providing a unique view directly down the Coorong.

Located at the end of the River Murray system, the Goolwa Barrage is one of five important barrages constructed between 1934 and 1940 to reduce salinity levels in the lower reaches of the River Murray, Lake Alexandrina and Lake Albert, and also to stabilise the river level for both upstream pumping and irrigation.

The upgrades at Goolwa Barrages, which also included ongoing rehabilitation works to the nearby Sir Richard Peninsula, helped our River Murray Operations team win the coveted Senator JS Collings Trophy early in 2020, which is awarded annually by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority to the most effectively maintained asset in the River Murray system.

We manage structures along the River Murray on behalf of the Murray- Darling Basin Authority, from Lock 9 in Cullulleraine, Victoria, to the Goolwa Barrages, including the Lake Victoria storage in New South Wales.

Results in Katarapko

Delivery of the major infrastructure needed to support the Katarapko Floodplain Inundation Measures (KatFIM) project in the Riverland reached practical completion in May 2020.

As part of the $155 million (federally funded) South Australian Riverland Floodplain Integrated Infrastructure Program, the KatFIM project saw us manage the detailed design, construction and commissioning of the capital works on behalf the Department for Environment and Water and the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.

Covering 9,000 hectares, the floodplain is located on the Katarapko/Eckert Creek and a branch system in the Riverland, opposite Loxton.

The KatFIM infrastructure enables managed inundation events to occur on the floodplain which closely mimic natural flood durations and frequencies. In the long-term, this will improve the resilience of the floodplain environment and restore habitats for biodiversity.

The major vegetation communities are red gum, black box and lignum and it is home to a variety of wildlife and many sites of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage significance which require protection.