One million and counting for SA’s reservoir reserves


One million and counting for SA’s reservoir reserves

In a major milestone, South Australia’s reservoir reserves have now welcomed more than 1,000,000 visitors since they were progressively opened to the public for recreational access.

Nestled in the Fleurieu Peninsula, Myponga Reservoir Reserve led the way when its gates opened in April 2019, with a total of 10 reservoir reserves across regional and metropolitan areas now offering a range of activities such as cycling, fishing and kayaking.

Happy Valley Reservoir Reserve has proven to be the most popular among the community, boasting more than 320,000 visitors to date, despite it being the final reservoir reserve to open to the public in December 2021.

SA Water’s Senior Manager of Environment and Energy James Crocker said the spaces have been transformed into thriving community assets, while continuing to play a vital role in the state’s water supply.

“As global populations become increasingly urbanised, there is an ever-growing public desire for more green open spaces and this milestone demonstrates how South Australians are embracing opportunities to connect with nature and enjoy recreation at our reservoir reserves,” James said.

“Reaching the 1,000,000 milestone is a testament to how our reservoir reserves were transformed by carefully integrating new amenities and trail networks, helping to showcase their unique environments.

“The recreational offering at each site has been specifically tailored to facilitate a wonderful visitor experience while ensuring the ongoing protection of our drinking water quality and the environment, and this has resulted in recreational access safely coexisting with our working reservoirs.

“Given the accessibility and activities on offer at Happy Valley, I think it’s no surprise people have taken to the space on their bikes, by foot or for a paddle around the beautiful reservoir.

“Myponga has welcomed more than 200,000 visitors since opening and remains a popular attraction for locals and people exploring the Fleurieu Peninsula.

“Importantly, a considerable amount of work went into developing a framework that supports public access while ensuring the ongoing safety and security of our state’s drinking water supplies, and it’s pleasing to see visitors are making a genuine effort to do the right thing and help preserve these spaces.

“The past few years have shown us there is immense value in having spaces like these and they are playing an important role in supporting the health and wellbeing of our communities.”

With more than 160,000 visitors since opening in December 2020, Hope Valley Reservoir Reserve is the third most visited behind Happy Valley and Myponga, while fishing, kayaking and walking are the most popular activities enjoyed across the 10 reservoir reserves.

Mr Crocker said the number of ways to get involved at the state’s reservoir reserves is also expanding.

“Beyond their initial openings, the opportunities to experience these spaces continue to evolve and we’re seeing a growing interest from community groups to host events or get involved through our new programs,” James said.

“Almost 800 runners took part in the recent Myponga Loop – a circumnavigation of the entire reserve – which was a hugely successful event and just one example of how people are extracting more recreational value.

“Only in its second year, our 70-person strong volunteering program is playing a key role in helping preserve the natural beauty of these sites through activities such as fish stocking and native revegetation.

“In addition, we’re supporting multiple community groups and organisations to develop and host initiatives underpinned by conservation and recreation through our Reservoirs Partnership Program.”

Bundaleer, Happy Valley, Myponga, South Para and Warren reservoir reserves are open for fishing, kayaking, walking, and cycling. Beetaloo Reservoir Reserve is open for fishing and picnicking. Hope Valley, Little Para and Mount Bold reservoir reserves are open for land-based activities including walking, running, and picnicking.





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