Northern Adelaide Irrigation Scheme (NAIS)

Northern Adelaide Irrigation Scheme (NAIS)

The Northern Adelaide Irrigation Scheme (NAIS) will deliver high quality, climate-independent reclaimed water for agrifood production and export to national or international markets.

Round one tenders to access water closed on 15 November 2017 and round two are open until 28 February 2018. Businesses interested in accessing NAIS water may lodge an expression of interest ahead of a detailed project proposal.

This project represents a once in a generation opportunity for advanced agribusinesses to secure a long-term supply of reliable, climate-independent water and supply the booming food export markets in Asia and across the globe efficiently, sustainably and profitably.

The United Nations World Population Prospects report forecasts world food demand increasing between 59 per cent and 98 per cent by 2050. Asian food demand is also expected to double, with China accounting for 43 per cent of growth, and India for 13 per cent.

NAIS water is ideal for large-scale advanced glasshouse horticulture, nurseries, floriculture, protected orchards and vine crops, premium irrigated field crops, feedlots and intensive poultry businesses.

The Northern Adelaide Plains are the largest protected cropping area in Australia. With ready access to skilled labour, transport, storage, and logistics facilities, food processors and manufacturers, the region is an ideal base for agrifood production for national and international export markets—all within 45 minutes of Adelaide’s CBD.

This project will deliver up to 12 GL (Stage 1) of reclaimed water suitable for commercial food production. NAIS infrastructure will treat, store, and transport climate- and season-independent water to the farm gate under pressure. NAIS water is price-indexed for 45 years and tradeable within the scheme.

SA Water is a recognised world leader in water reclamation, with more than 20 years’ experience operating reclaimed water schemes.

To lodge project proposals visit

For project updates register your contact details at


Michael Edgecombe
Business Development Manager, SA Water
+61 8 7424 1132
+61 438 830 925

Bengy Paolo
Director Major Projects, PIRSA Rural Solutions
+61 8 7424 1132
+61 438 830 925

Government support

We are partnering with Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) to develop the Northern Adelaide Irrigation Scheme (NAIS), a $155.6 million initiative to deliver more recycled water for primary production use in the Northern Adelaide Plains.

This is one of eight South Australian priority initiatives on Infrastructure Australia’s Priority List and a key component of the Northern Adelaide Plains Agribusiness Initiative (NAPAI) providing a coordinated approach to accelerating growth in the region.

In addition to $110 million committed by the South Australian Government in early 2017, Australian Government funding of $45.6 million has been secured through the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund (NWIDF).

Construction is expected to start in early 2018 with the intention of recycled water flowing to irrigators from 2019. The new infrastructure will have capacity to transport up to 20 GL a year, as demand for water grows.

Stakeholder consultation

We have been engaging with the Northern Adelaide Plains community about recycled water storage for the scheme. Read more about the engagement here.