McLaren Vale’s Irrigators Council yesterday received a $2.5M commitment from the Coalition to construct a 1200 ML dam for water storage – securing a sustainable irrigation future for our region’s growers.
The announcement held at Torresan Estate bottling facility in McLaren Vale, was attended by The Hon. Steven Ciobo – Minister for Trade and Investment, The Hon. Steven Marshall MP – State Liberal Leader and The Hon. Jamie Briggs MP - Member for Mayo.
The grant has been endorsed by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources – The Hon. Barnaby Joyce and Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources – The Hon. Anne Ruston.
Drier winters and hotter summers are the reality of farming in South Australia and as a consequence, the irrigation requirements of high value and sophisticated viticulture have changed - with a necessity to adapt to constantly changing conditions.
McLaren Vale Irrigators Council Chair, Jock Harvey notes the significant benefits this project will provide the region.
“Demand for winter irrigation and additional water during the growing season are now commonplace – substantially increasing demand for economically and environmentally sustainable irrigation water beyond projected over the last decade,” said Mr Harvey.
“The grant commitment from the Coalition will provide triple bottom line benefits – not only guaranteeing the water security for our grape, wine and tourism industries of McLaren Vale, but also reducing the harmful outflow of reclaimed water to the Gulf of St. Vincent by as well as providing hundreds of jobs during construction.”
McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association General Manager, Jennifer Lynch acknowledges the reliance on sustainable water resources and infrastructure in maintaining the region’s reputation and standing within the Australian wine industry.
“McLaren Vale’s grape growing and winemaking industries are worth in excess of $1bn per year – this winter water storage project will enable sustainable and efficient management of our precious water resources - adding value by increasing grape yields as well as grape quality,” said Ms Lynch.
“This grant funding and project supports our Sustainable Australia Winegrowing program which aims to improve viticultural practices, fruit quality and financial viability in the region, including water management.
“Through securing our region’s water supply, we will ensure the premium identity McLaren Vale has established over generations of winemaking is not only maintained, but further enhanced.