River sources

River sources

We only draw drinking water from one river - the River Murray. Other rivers and streams play a role in feeding water into our reservoirs and ground water supplies. The River Murray has been a central part of the development of water supply for South Australia. The  Adelaide Desalination Plant was built to reduce reliance on the River Murray. Before the plant was built we had to rely on the river for more than 90% of our water in dry years. The Adelaide Desalination Plant can now provide for up to 50% of Adelaide's water needs. This water can be supplied even when there is no rain.

The River also provides water to many regional communities, of our 68 drinking water supply systems, 33 source water either directly or indirectly from the River Murray, including 18 water treatment plants located along South Australia’s reaches of the River Murray.  The River Murray also supplements metropolitan Adelaide’s reservoirs (with the exception of Myponga Reservoir) via two raw water  major pipelines: the Murray Bridge-Onkaparinga pipeline and the Mannum-Adelaide pipeline.

Three major pipelines supply treated water from the River Murray to various regional communities; the Morgan-Whyalla Pipeline, Swan Reach – Stockwell pipeline and the Tailem Bend-Keith pipeline.

The percentage of water supplied to Adelaide from the River Murray varies from year to year, with the river providing about 40% of the city’s water in an average year.  During 2015-16, 83.1% of water supplied by SA Water was sourced from the River Murray.

You can read more about the Murray's place in SA Water's history here.

Visit our River Murray section to see how we are helping to manage the river to make sure it is a sustainable source of water into the future. You can also access our River Murray data including daily flow and salinity reports.


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  • Major faults

  • Underway

  • Multiple streets
  • Goolwa
  • 19/10/2017
  • Water Quality
  • SA Water customers in Goolwa and surrounding areas, including Goolwa Beach, Goolwa South, Goolwa North and Hindmarsh Island may currently be experiencing discoloured or milky water coming out of their taps.

    This water remains safe to drink.

    During recent planned maintenance in the area, some existing sediment in the local water supply network has been stirred up, resulting in the discoloured water.

    We are working hard to resolve the issue, and we are flushing out the discoloured water. Given the size of the water network in the area, this may take some time. At this stage, we are hoping water supply will return to normal by Friday afternoon.

    We will continue to monitor the situation, and provide updates on our website and Facebook page.

    For further information or any questions, please contact us on 1300 SA WATER.

  • See all major faults

  • Scheduled works

  • Underway
  • Thomas St
  • Croydon
  • 23/10/2017
  • Supply Interruption
  • Estimated start time (water off): 23/10/2017 09:00 AM
    Estimated restore time (water back on): 23/10/2017 03:00 PM

    We’re committed to improving your services and are undertaking maintenance work in Croydon. Water supply in the surrounding area may be impacted during the above times. Traffic restrictions may also apply.


  • See all scheduled works