Kangaroo Island's new seawater desalination plant

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For new connection applications along the new trunk main, please follow this link - Connecting new customers along Hog Bay Road and Arranmore Road

For new connection applications for American River, Baudin Beach, Island Beach and Sapphiretown property owners, please follow this link - Connecting new customers in American River, Baudin Beach, Island Beach and Sapphiretown




In partnership with the Australian and South Australian Governments, we are constructing a new seawater desalination plant and distribution network on Kangaroo Island, at a cost of $64.9 million.

This plant will provide additional water security for the island, improve water quality management to ensure ongoing compliance to Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and expand the network to new customer areas with first water from the plant by the end of 2022. The new desalination plant will also provide an additional climate independent drinking water supply, boost economic activity, and improve bushfire resilience.

Water produced from the new plant will supplement the existing Penneshaw facility and the Middle River Reservoir, supplying the Island through a connected drinking water network.

A new pipeline will have capacity to service residents in Baudin Beach, Island Beach, Sapphiretown and American River. Our engagement with these communities will explore opportunities and interest in connecting to this new drinking water supply with consultation informing where any new drinking water networks are laid.

To aid firefighting capabilities, we plan to install fire plugs every 2 kilometres along the trunk main and every 400 metres along the new pipelines in the new communities we aim to supply as part of this project. These fire plugs will allow access by the Country Fire Service for firefighting purposes.

The new desalination plant will produce as much as 80% of the Island’s current water requirements. This will allow for growth and an expected increase in demand.

Our experience with desalination plants

We operate nine desalination plants across South Australia including seawater desalination plants at Lonsdale in Adelaide and the existing plant at Penneshaw.

Our desalination plants improve security of drinking water supplies for our customers. They give us the ability to supply water regardless of climate impacts and ensure drinking water is still available even in times of drought.

How desalination plants work

Our desalination plants use a technology called reverse osmosis. The process removes up to 99 per cent of the impurities and salt in the water. Once the impurities - mainly salt - are removed, the water is treated to ensure it is safe to.

The new desalination plant location

The proposed project site is approximately two kilometres west of the Penneshaw township, within the road reserve of Hog Bay Road, Kangaroo Head near the intersection of William Walkers Way.

The location comprises approximately 8000 square metres of road reserve. This road reserve is adjacent to agricultural land and is approximately 400 metres from the coastline and 165 meters from the nearest residential property located to the north. A new access road is proposed with an entry and exit point from Desal Drive. Ancillary infrastructure will be located either on land already owned by us or on land adjacent to the existing plant, or within Desal Drive.

Current status - Pipeline construction

Stage 1 of the construction and installation of the new trunk main pipeline, connecting the existing Penneshaw facility and the Middle River-Kingscote network, has begun. This section extends from Pelican Lagoon, along Hog Bay Road, to our earth bank storage site near the corner of Charing Cross Road and Hog Bay Road.

To ensure the safety of motorists, the community and our work crew, traffic management including reduced speed will be in place during works. Please allow extra time if you need to travel through these areas.


Design development of Stage 2 of the pipeline, which extends from the Middle River water main on Playford Highway near the Kangaroo Island Airport along Arronmore Road and Hog Bay Road to Pelican Lagoon, is progressing well. Work on Stage 2 is expected to commence in early 2022.

Development Application

A Development Application has been submitted to seek approval to construct the new desalination plant and supporting marine and terrestrial infrastructure. The Development Application provides a detailed description of the project and the project site, as well as detail of the benefit and rationale of the project.

A flythrough of the concept design of the desalination site can be found below.

This reflects what has been submitted as part of our Development Application, and is subject to further design development as the project progresses.

How to get involved

Over the duration of the project, we will facilitate a number of discussions that will provide you with project updates and information, opportunities to discuss the project with us and connection opportunities for the communities of American River, Baudin Beach, Island Beach and Sapphiretown and along the pipeline connecting the existing Penneshaw facility and the Middle River-Kingscote network.

Next steps

Construction will be undertaken in stages. Construction of the first section of pipe along Hog Bay Road has commenced. This is being constructed from Pelican Lagoon to our earth bank storage site on the corner of Hog Bay Road and Charing Cross Road. Work to construct the remaining section, connecting with the existing Middle-River-Kingscote network, will start in early 2022.

The construction of the desalination plant and associated marine works is expected to start in early 2022 with reticulation mains for the communities of American River, Baudin Beach, Island Beach and Sapphiretown constructed from mid-2022.

With our target of first water through the desalination plant by the end of 2022, this includes providing water to new connections in these four communities. We will engage with these communities on opportunities to connect to this new, safe, clean affordable drinking water network.


For new connection applications along the new trunk main, please follow this link - Connecting new customers along Hog Bay Road and Arranmore Road

For new connection applications for American River, Baudin Beach, Island Beach and Sapphiretown property owners, please follow this link - Connecting new customers in American River, Baudin Beach, Island Beach and Sapphiretown




In partnership with the Australian and South Australian Governments, we are constructing a new seawater desalination plant and distribution network on Kangaroo Island, at a cost of $64.9 million.

This plant will provide additional water security for the island, improve water quality management to ensure ongoing compliance to Australian Drinking Water Guidelines and expand the network to new customer areas with first water from the plant by the end of 2022. The new desalination plant will also provide an additional climate independent drinking water supply, boost economic activity, and improve bushfire resilience.

Water produced from the new plant will supplement the existing Penneshaw facility and the Middle River Reservoir, supplying the Island through a connected drinking water network.

A new pipeline will have capacity to service residents in Baudin Beach, Island Beach, Sapphiretown and American River. Our engagement with these communities will explore opportunities and interest in connecting to this new drinking water supply with consultation informing where any new drinking water networks are laid.

To aid firefighting capabilities, we plan to install fire plugs every 2 kilometres along the trunk main and every 400 metres along the new pipelines in the new communities we aim to supply as part of this project. These fire plugs will allow access by the Country Fire Service for firefighting purposes.

The new desalination plant will produce as much as 80% of the Island’s current water requirements. This will allow for growth and an expected increase in demand.

Our experience with desalination plants

We operate nine desalination plants across South Australia including seawater desalination plants at Lonsdale in Adelaide and the existing plant at Penneshaw.

Our desalination plants improve security of drinking water supplies for our customers. They give us the ability to supply water regardless of climate impacts and ensure drinking water is still available even in times of drought.

How desalination plants work

Our desalination plants use a technology called reverse osmosis. The process removes up to 99 per cent of the impurities and salt in the water. Once the impurities - mainly salt - are removed, the water is treated to ensure it is safe to.

The new desalination plant location

The proposed project site is approximately two kilometres west of the Penneshaw township, within the road reserve of Hog Bay Road, Kangaroo Head near the intersection of William Walkers Way.

The location comprises approximately 8000 square metres of road reserve. This road reserve is adjacent to agricultural land and is approximately 400 metres from the coastline and 165 meters from the nearest residential property located to the north. A new access road is proposed with an entry and exit point from Desal Drive. Ancillary infrastructure will be located either on land already owned by us or on land adjacent to the existing plant, or within Desal Drive.

Current status - Pipeline construction

Stage 1 of the construction and installation of the new trunk main pipeline, connecting the existing Penneshaw facility and the Middle River-Kingscote network, has begun. This section extends from Pelican Lagoon, along Hog Bay Road, to our earth bank storage site near the corner of Charing Cross Road and Hog Bay Road.

To ensure the safety of motorists, the community and our work crew, traffic management including reduced speed will be in place during works. Please allow extra time if you need to travel through these areas.


Design development of Stage 2 of the pipeline, which extends from the Middle River water main on Playford Highway near the Kangaroo Island Airport along Arronmore Road and Hog Bay Road to Pelican Lagoon, is progressing well. Work on Stage 2 is expected to commence in early 2022.

Development Application

A Development Application has been submitted to seek approval to construct the new desalination plant and supporting marine and terrestrial infrastructure. The Development Application provides a detailed description of the project and the project site, as well as detail of the benefit and rationale of the project.

A flythrough of the concept design of the desalination site can be found below.

This reflects what has been submitted as part of our Development Application, and is subject to further design development as the project progresses.

How to get involved

Over the duration of the project, we will facilitate a number of discussions that will provide you with project updates and information, opportunities to discuss the project with us and connection opportunities for the communities of American River, Baudin Beach, Island Beach and Sapphiretown and along the pipeline connecting the existing Penneshaw facility and the Middle River-Kingscote network.

Next steps

Construction will be undertaken in stages. Construction of the first section of pipe along Hog Bay Road has commenced. This is being constructed from Pelican Lagoon to our earth bank storage site on the corner of Hog Bay Road and Charing Cross Road. Work to construct the remaining section, connecting with the existing Middle-River-Kingscote network, will start in early 2022.

The construction of the desalination plant and associated marine works is expected to start in early 2022 with reticulation mains for the communities of American River, Baudin Beach, Island Beach and Sapphiretown constructed from mid-2022.

With our target of first water through the desalination plant by the end of 2022, this includes providing water to new connections in these four communities. We will engage with these communities on opportunities to connect to this new, safe, clean affordable drinking water network.

  • Connecting new customers along Hog Bay Road and Arranmore Road

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    To keep our costs as low as possible for new water connections installed directly off the trunk main along Hog Bay Road and Arranmore Road, we will provide individual 20mm water meters in a shared manifold arrangement where possible. A manifold arrangement allows between two and four individual meters to be co-located and reduces the overall installation cost.

    We will locate the manifold connection and water meters adjacent to driveways and close to boundaries which in some cases will be in the road verge requiring an underground box to protect the meters from damage. It is unlikely we will be able to locate meters in preferred locations for all customers.

    We are pleased to advise the cost for a 20mm meter connection as part of a manifold along Hog Bay Road and Arranmore Road will be capped at $3050 per property for connections applied for before 28 February 2022.

    You will be responsible for private pipework requirements, including any Council permits for construction in road verge, from the meter to your property.

    To apply for a new connection along Hog Bay Road and Arranmore Road, please follow this link to complete an application.

    Any connection requests for a larger water meter to accommodate business purposes or an individual connection outside of a shared manifold arrangement will need to be reviewed to ensure there is sufficient capacity to be shared across the entire network and may incur additional costs.

    It is recommended that you seek professional advice from a plumber around your specific circumstances to ensure internal pipelines and/or other suitable storage and pumps (if required) is incorporated to meet your ongoing needs. Getting water from the meter to your tank or your home will be your responsibility.

    Water supply from the new connection will not be available until the new trunk main and desalination plant is completed and commissioned. We will let you know when water is available.

  • Connecting new customers in American River, Baudin Beach, Island Beach and Sapphiretown

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    Opportunities to connect to the proposed new reticulated water mains network in American River, Baudin Beach, Island Beach and Sapphiretown is a critical part of this project.

    Connections for new customers in American River, Baudin Beach, Island Beach and Sapphiretown will be available at a reduced fee which can be achieved by undertaking connections to properties at the same time as laying the mains in your community.

    We are pleased to advise the cost of a standard 20mm meter connection for new customers in American River, Baudin Beach, Island Beach and Sapphiretown has been reduced to $1650 per property, connected during construction of the new reticulation networks.

    A fact sheet that outlines details including the cost to connect and our statewide water pricing and an Intent to Connect document. The fact sheet can be found in the Documents section of this page.

Page last updated: 29 December 2021, 17:08