Kangaroo Island's new seawater desalination plant

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The Australian and South Australian Governments have committed $47.8 million to build a new desalination plant on Kangaroo Island, which will provide an additional climate-independent drinking water supply, boost economic activity, and improve bushfire resilience.

The new desalination plant will be built in the vicinity of the existing plant at Penneshaw and, able to produce up to two megalitres a day, will improve drinking water security to support the tourism and agriculture industries.

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, connecting the new desalination plant to the Middle River-Kingscote network, will have capacity to service residents in Baudin Beach, Island Beach, Sapphiretown and American River.

Engagement with these communities will explore opportunities and interest in connecting to this new, safe, secure and affordable drinking water supply. Consultation will help inform where any new drinking water networks are laid.

We are now working towards commencing construction, and we anticipate that the desalination plant will take between 18 and 24 months to complete.


The Australian and South Australian Governments have committed $47.8 million to build a new desalination plant on Kangaroo Island, which will provide an additional climate-independent drinking water supply, boost economic activity, and improve bushfire resilience.

The new desalination plant will be built in the vicinity of the existing plant at Penneshaw and, able to produce up to two megalitres a day, will improve drinking water security to support the tourism and agriculture industries.

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, connecting the new desalination plant to the Middle River-Kingscote network, will have capacity to service residents in Baudin Beach, Island Beach, Sapphiretown and American River.

Engagement with these communities will explore opportunities and interest in connecting to this new, safe, secure and affordable drinking water supply. Consultation will help inform where any new drinking water networks are laid.

We are now working towards commencing construction, and we anticipate that the desalination plant will take between 18 and 24 months to complete.


We are working together with the Kangaroo Island community as we start planning to construct a new 2 megalitre per day seawater desalination plant to be built in the vicinity of the existing plant at Penneshaw.  The new desalination plant will supplement the existing Penneshaw facility and the Middle River Reservoir, supplying Kangaroo Island through a connected pipeline network

Local community members are invited to join to ask us questions and tell us what's most important to them

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    Hi there, I note that the project includes a pipeline connecting the Penneshaw supply with the Kingscote-Middle River supply. While Baudin Beach, Island Beach, Sapphiretown and American River are named, the route of the pipeline suggests it will pass Nepean Bay - has any thought been given about whether the pipeline will be able to supply the community at Nepean Bay in the future?

    Daniel Garland asked about 2 months ago

    Hi Daniel.

    Thanks for your question. At this stage, the scope of the project is to look to provide new connections to property owners in Baudin Beach, Island Beach, Sapphiretown and American River. Engagement with these communities will look to explore opportunities and interest in connecting to this new, safe and affordable drinking water supply. 

    We are also talking with neighbours of the new pipeline, connecting the new desalination plant to the Middle River-Kingscote network. 

    We are open to discuss connection opportunities with property owners in Nepean Bay and would suggest to anyone who is keen to discuss this, to make contact with me via email - aaron.glossop@sawater.com.au or via the project email kinewdesal@sawater.com.au.

    Kind regards

    Aaron Glossop

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    I live on Cape Willoughby Rd, opposite the golf course... is it possible for my cottage to be connected to mains water? Thank you

    Karen Robb asked 3 months ago

    Hi Karen

    Thanks for your question. At this stage, the scope of the project is to look to provide new connections to property owners in Baudin Beach, Island Beach, Sapphiretown and American River. Engagement with these communities will look to explore opportunities and interest in connecting to this new, safe and affordable drinking water supply.

    Any new connection within the Penneshaw reticulated network will require a standard connection request through our new connections team.  Please refer to our standard connections policy - Standard (sawater.com.au) for all you need to know.

    Kind regards

    Aaron Glossop

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    Your website under the heading of “Charges if you are Not connected to the Water Network States and I quote “If your property is ABLE to be connected to a water main,you are billed a rating on abuttal charge.This charge applies even if you are not connected”. This implies to me that if a water main is running past my house and I elect not to be connected I will be charged. What will that charge be?.

    George Bateman asked 4 months ago

    Hi George

    Thanks for your question.

    The 2020-21 annual charge for the supply of our safe, reliable and affordable water to your home is $67.85 per quarter, $271.40 per year. 

    As the mains network is designed to meet the water service needs of each property for your benefit and future owners, this charge applies whether your property is connected to the network or not.

    With statewide pricing in place across South Australia, all residential customers pay the same price for water, regardless of where they live. 

    Drinking water prices across South Australia include:

    1. a fixed charge for water supply
    2. variable water use price – the more you use, the more you pay.


    Kind regards

    Aaron Glossop

    SA Water