state map
Alternate and emerging options
Spencer Gulf and far north of the state
Estimated cost
$230 million
Project status

The project is jointly funded by the Australian Government ($65 million), with the South Australian Government and industry contributing $165 million. Australian Government funding is provided through the National Water Grid Fund.

A windmill with the Flinders Ranges behind it in the Australian outback

A windmill with the Flinders Ranges behind it in the Australian outback.

The Upper Spencer Gulf and Far North of SA rely on environmental water sources including the Great Artesian Basin, River Murray and groundwater aquifers for community and industrial use. A secure water supply is critical for the development of a hydrogen industry, and any related green industrialisation in the region.

Northern Water, when built, would deliver climate independent water to support industries critical to achieving net zero by 2050, including renewable industries and the development of critical mineral resources.

The Northern Water project would see the construction of a new 260 megalitre (ML) a day seawater desalination plant at Cape Hardy, and approximately 600 km of pipeline to the Far North of the state.

This funding supports key pre-construction activities, including:

  • facilitation of procurement
  • further design investigations
  • further development of reference design and cost estimates, and
  • ongoing stakeholder engagement

Pre construction activities are expected to be completed in late 2025.

When constructed, the Northern Water project would bring a wide range of local and nationally significant benefits, including:

  • enable the production of renewable green hydrogen 
  • support the development of critical and strategic mineral resources
  • help Australia to achieve Net Zero by 2050
  • produce a climate independent water source
  • return water to the Great Artesian Basin and River Murray
  • deliver significant social outcomes, including supporting jobs
  • boost economic growth.

Key project benefits

Climate change resilience
Natural environment
Water security